During the months of April and May, the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council partnered up with Green Thumbs Growing Kids to hold a 3-part panel & workshop on urban entrepreneurship, when it comes to food. The workshops focus on the process of design thinking: the discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation and evolution phases of starting and growing a business.
Urban Roots Youth is a spring and summer after-school program for students in high school, through Green Thumbs Growing Kids, to get exposure to planting, growing and processing their food. Green Thumbs is an organization that runs three learning gardens on schools grounds in the East end; this panel & workshop ran out of one of their sites at the City of Toronto’s Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory. TYFPC’s Council Member, Martina Marsic, who is also a Fellow at the MaRS Discovery District‘s youth social impact incubator, working on starting a food-tech venture, partnered with Erica Lemieux of City Seed Farms, to co-lead the second panel, sharing with the students each of their respective experiences in researching a business opportunity and growing a customer base.
The students were encouraged in the last hour to think of opportunities in their own work with Green Thumbs Growing Kids and daily lives to further the work they are already doing after school, into something that could serve their communities and improve food security.