Addressing Food Insecurity

The Growcer Gets Food Systems Up and Growing in Food Deserts

Why It Matters

The Growcer’s product to address food security is quickly gaining traction. The social purpose company manufactures modular plug-and-play hydroponic systems to enable food production in remote communities. As part of our series on addressing emerging issues through entrepreneurship, co-founder and CEO Corey Ellis tells us how to get a social mission business up and running to address urgent needs.

How did Growcer start?

We knew that agriculture is a way to lift people out of poverty, but also to prevent poverty. We knew if the numbers made sense and we could build a business around this, we could create farms where there were no farms, create jobs, and create value in communities. I see business as a tool for good. That is the lens me and co-founder Alida Burke had when we had the idea for Growcer. Food has a lot of socio-economic layers and so we wanted to work with that in mind.

How did you become obsessed with food pricing and availability?

I was part of a student organization at the University of Ottawa. We were in Iqaluit speaking with community members and the idea came to us. Our plan was to grow food in Iqaluit by working with volunteers. Back in Ottawa, we saw food deserts—those places where there were no grocery stores and the only food available was canned,

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