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Understanding the financing of innovation and commercialization: the case of the Canadian functional food and nutraceutical sector

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We develop and implement two models to show what factors affect a firm's decision to seek external financing and the level of financing obtained in the Canadian functional food and nutraceutical sector. Data from a national survey of functional foods and nutraceutical firms in Canada, conducted by Statistics Canada in 2003, is used for this analysis. Firm size, being privately held and engaging in contractual arrangements have negative impacts on the likelihood of a firm seeking external funding, while firms which are intensively involved in the functional food and nutraceutical sector, with greater prospects for business expansion and/or involved in partnerships are more likely to seek external financing. Larger firms and those involved in functional food and nutraceutical research and development receive a greater amount of capital when they decide to raise capital. However, firms focused on functional foods and nutraceuticals, as opposed to more diversified firms, and those involved in product development and concept scale-up, receive less capital. Our findings highlight the importance of public support in addressing the capital requirements of functional food and nutraceutical firms and underscore the considerable burden borne by smaller firms in this respect.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

Publication date: 2010-08-01

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