Join the diverse ecosystem of consultants taking food business clients to the next level.

Consultant Training

Join our diverse ecosystem of consultants with FFI’s unique food and finance training programs that distinguish you from other consultants.

Take your food business clients to the next level

After attending our training sessions, you will be able to help your food company clients:

  • Optimize their business model for profitability
  • Develop a realistic financial plan and capital structure to support their growth
  • Navigate the process of raising appropriate debt, strategic investments and equity 
  • Leverage their network and build their team to support the fundraising process

How Do I Know This Training is for Me?

You’re working with multiple food businesses that need help getting profitable and raising money

Maybe you have a background in food but need help understanding the financial requirements of these businesses. Or you feel comfortable in the world of finance but need to better understand the different realistic business model paths available to food entrepreneurs. Whatever your situation, we can help you provide your clients high quality financial technical assistance.

Time is money, and you need to quickly get up to speed

Our two-day training sessions are based on our experience working with real food companies and helping them raise money. We walk through the cold, hard numbers of different types of food businesses to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in the current marketplace. We give you actionable resources and train you on how to use them so that you can work quickly and independently with a diverse range of food businesses.

You want to distinguish yourself more and get more clients

Very few consultants signal that they focus on finance and raising money. And even less combine that with a focus on food. Attending our training sessions or becoming an FFI Premier Consultant allows you to stand out from the pack.

What can I expect from the training?

1
Level 1: Business Model Optimization

Our Level 1 training provides an in-depth look at what food, beverage and value-added farm businesses need to do to optimize their business model and capital structure for profitability. This includes a discussion of current market trends in the sector, the basics of conducting market research, various business models in food (and their accompanying metrics/capital structure) as well as in-depth case studies of business model optimization with one or more of the business models presented. View a sample agenda here.

2
Level 2: Financial Packaging

Our Level 2 training builds on Level 1 by helping participants navigate the process of raising appropriate debt, strategic investments, and equity  investments in food, beverage and value-added farm businesses. This includes a discussion of the legal, financial and governance prerequisites to and implications of raising equity. Level 2 also outlines a process of putting financial packages together to raise money, including case studies relating to specific funding requests for specific business models. We also help participants act as a “coach” that leverages the strengths of the entrepreneurs they work with, their network and other resources in their community to support the fundraising process. View a sample agenda here.

Certification

All participants who successfully complete a training session will receive a certificate of participation from FFI and the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship for each training completed. In addition, they will be recognized and honored by being listed on our website, newsletters and other publications. Training involves learning the content and skills necessary to successfully consult with food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses. While we offer a certificate of participation for attending a training session, we encourage consultants to apply what they have learned by becoming an FFI Premier Consultant by working with FFI director Tera Johnson to successfully complete a project, like a successful fundraising request, for a food, beverage or value-added agriculture business.

Sari Kimbell – Encouraging Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Better Tasting Food

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The FFI training was the main contributor to positioning this group of collaborative companies to work more deliberately and confidently with financial viability as a central theme. We are moving forward in a way where financial viability has become a significant driver of the work. As a group, FFI has given us a common language and a common target to weave into our value-driven approach to growing the local food market channels and distribution infrastructure.
Patti Miller
Chesapeake Foodshed Network

Become a Trained and Certified Consultant

Please note FFI tends to host one consultant training per year and then hosts others in collaboration with host organizations. We will share our next FFI training information with you once available. If your organization would be a good candidate for a host or you have an idea of a good host organization in your area please let us know!
  • Let us know a little about your background and why you would like to attend Consultant Training. We will be in touch when new consultant training opportunities come up!

Consultants

Our consultants use the tools, resources, rigorous training and mentorship provided in the FFI consultant training program to give sophisticated, financial technical assistance to food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses.
See all FFI Trained Consultants