A crowdfunding platform, that goes by the name of Barnraiser, has been helping a lot of food businesses succeed. This platform does not see itself as only a fundraising tool, but also as a community which focuses on healthy and viable food. Barnraiser was established last year and has been prosperous in assisting various nonprofits organizations, food startups, farmers and other groups/individuals all around the country. The company’s CEO Eileen Gordon Chiarello is no stranger to running a food business, since for years she and her husband Michael worked in the restaurant and media sectors.
Many food entrepreneurs have little experience on how to run a business, or how to get the resources they need; that’s when they usually turn to Barnraiser for support. There are also a lot of success stories in the Barnraiser community, such as Ramini Mozzarella Farm, founded by Audrey and her late husband Craig Hitchcock. The farm started in 2009 with only 5 Italian water buffalo and have swelled up to 45. To date, Audrey’s campaign to reach $11,000 with the aim of purchasing an ATV, and 6 additional milking stalls, has reached 74% of the fundraising target.
Another success story is the Green Bronx Machine, an impact driven organization focused on establishing healthy communities with a school-based model that utilizes urban agriculture. Their recent fundraising campaign to build an urban education center has been successfully funded, with a total of $39,283.
Compared to the big players of the crowdfunding world, it might take some time for Barnraiser to move out from the backseat, but as Chiarello shared with forbes.com, what counts is how the crowdfunding platform is benefiting people who are dedicated on consuming and generating healthy food. She added that the amount that the platform is raising might be satisfactory, but it’s more than enough for food entrepreneurs and farmers. Chiarello said that they have a 65% success rate in reaching their targets, and would be dismayed if they only received 30%. She explained that one of their major challenges is the lack of a working capital to scale up their business.
One good news for Barnraiser is its recent partnership with Sonoma Brands, a venture fund and consumer products incubator. Sonoma Brands will provide mentorship and training to Barnraiser entrepreneurs, while the latter will bring forth potential food entrepreneurs who will be at the forefront in producing sustainable and healthy food.