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Community-Based Food Business Financing

How to access community-based capital through a Member Investor Share Offering (MISO).


In Austin, Texas a group of folks hungry for local food have cracked the code to access capital – looking to the community. Using a cooperative model they are continuing to innovate. Starting with the knowledge gained from such ventures as a co-op grocer, their success led them to experiment with opening a co-op brew pub. This venture has been another striking success, and are now working to open a cooperative food hub.

This webinar starts with the basics of what a co-op is, how it works, and then they discuss accessing community-based capital through what is called a Member Investor Share Offering (MISO). By leveraging the dollars from the community, they have been able to finance the start-up and beginning operations of innovative co-ops. Hear what the organizers of these businesses believe to be the secrets to their success, and some suggestions on how you might consider financing your planned operation in this way.



Presenter Bios

Jake Carter

Jake CarterJake’s work creating environmental non-profits, tech companies, and innovative co-ops such as Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery in Austin, TX has led him to help start Moontower Community Agricultural Co-op, Central Texas’ first farmer and community-owned food hub. Moontower Co-op is utilizing the power of cooperation to expand the local food market while engaging the community in the movement to provide more local, sustainable, and equitable food to Central Texas.

Dana Curtis

Dana Curtis headshotDana Curtis is a native Texan and one of the founding members of the Workers’ Assembly at Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery where she began working in January of 2010, overseeing the membership and investment campaign which brought the Co-op from a dream to reality. Currently she is on the Business Team and serves on Black Star’s Board of Directors. Dana attended the University of Texas at Dallas where she studied Literature and Philosophy and attended graduate school at Texas Women’s University. She taught undergraduate Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University before leaving academia to join the labor movement as a union organizer. Dana has committed her life to social justice and strongly believes in the transformative power of the cooperative model.

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