The Agriculture & Food Council (AFC) has released the “Success for Women in Agri-Food (S4WAg) Needs Assessment Report,” which summarizes recent research on the barriers rural Alberta women entrepreneurs face. The findings will be used to develop a pilot program aiming to overcome these barriers, and to support the engagement of women in the growing regional food economy as well as policy discussions to be delivered in five locations in rural Alberta.
“We are excited to see the results of the Needs Assessment and launch our program to help fill in the gaps in Alberta, ” says Bryanna Kumpula, the AFC’s executive director.
According to a press release from the AFC, the research involved a comprehensive assessment of the current situation experienced by rural Alberta women in agri-food entrepreneurism and policy development. It engaged more than 200 women and men from across the agriculture and agri-food value chain through an online survey, interviews and focus groups.
“The results of the research identified finance and other business management skills, as well as access to capital, childcare and other responsibilities, lack of networking and mentorship opportunities as significant barriers for many rural women agri-food entrepreneurs. A program, focused specifically on rural Alberta women entrepreneurs across the agriculture and agri-food value chain, including those in leading roles in primary production to processing or value added businesses, will be developed and delivered in Fairview, Vermillion, Parkland County, Olds, and Lethbridge. A debut event will be held November 19th, 2016 in each of these locations with excellent speakers to give a preview of the elements of upcoming 2017 program,” says Heather Broughton, S4WAg community animator for AFC.
“For those women who face barriers in their business development, we are excited to offer the this unique learning opportunity combined will skill development, networking and mentorship opportunities delivered exclusively in rural communities.”