Female Investors Take Food And Beverage Sector By Storm
Although investment in the food and beverage sector is still dominated by men, women are starting to make their presence known in this area too. In recent times, there have been some notable examples of female investors backing fledgling companies that are rivalling bigger brands.
Just who are these rising female entrepreneurs that have shaken up the gender mix of the food and drinks investment sector? Three noteworthy names are Lauren Jupiter, Sherri Wolf and Julia Paino. Interestingly, all three women aren’t previously known in the food executive search recruitment sector, and they actually have backgrounds in finance. Proving that you don’t need to have years of experience working in food recruitment to invest in it, these number-crunching ladies are now taking the food and beverage world by storm.
With a background in investment banking, Lauren realised her passion for the food and beverage sector after spending a stint of time working for a private-equity-owned frozen foods company in the UK. Taking a hands-on approach appealed to Lauren, and she felt that she could make a difference to fledgling businesses. With an MBA under her belt and a move back to the USA, she felt frustrated by the lack of investment groups in up-and-coming food businesses and wanted to get behind a company that she felt good about. In 2013, Lauren and her business partner began an accelerator programme for AccelFoods, which is now into its second fund.
In 2015, Sherri Wolf became a member of Edible Ventures, but she began her career in investment banking, working with technology stocks and, later, in the venture capital market. It was only when she joined an organic juicing company as CFO that she realised the financial and operational challenges that young food and beverage companies have to endure. Sherri was able to bring this insight with her when she joined Edible Ventures to assist with start-up investment selection. Her past experience also enabled her to view the wider factors associated with investment decision-making in the food and beverage sector.
A background in an early-stage technology venture proved to be the springboard that Julia Paino needed to leap into the food sector. She joined forces with her father to co-found a Dutch waffle company, and she later made use of her experience to provide investment guidance to Edible Ventures. Julia sees her role as food adviser more than active investor, although she finds being able to relate to entrepreneurs in the sector as invaluable.
A Positive Impact on the Industry
More women making their mark in this sector can help to provide a new perspective and insight into aspects such as purchasing behaviours, as well as being able to exploit their financial expertise. Shaking up the gender mix also means that when it comes to executive search recruitment, women will feel more confident and assured about following in the footsteps of these female role models.