Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emma Tamlin, Co-Founder of Raised Roots, located in Toronto, ON, CA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The goal of Raised Roots is to connect people to their food to help them learn and understand the value and importance of a healthy food system and how it connects to our health and the health of the environment. We work with clients to manage urban gardens on the ground or rooftops! Additionally, we provide consulting and support with urban agriculture feasibility studies and project development.

Tell us about yourself

Since I was 12, I have been looking for ways to address climate change and find a career that would allow me to have the biggest impact on climate change mitigation and adaptation. When I started learning about the food system and its functions, I realized that it is a huge contributor to climate change. Approximately one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system (think harvesting, processing, transporting, refrigeration, etc.). The industrialized food system is causing serious damage, which also means there is a lot of room for new solutions. Raised Roots is working to be a solution through food systems change and innovation.

Unfortunately, I am mostly motivated by fear of doing this work. The climate crisis is here, and it's truly terrifying to me and a lot of other youth. I am not sure what my future will look like but I am committed to working towards more just and sustainable systems. I would not be able to do this work without my peers' hard work. Because when climate anxiety gets a little too intense, it is nice to know other people are working to make a difference, and they are there to motivate me to keep going!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I love celebrating small wins! Getting our first contract, getting a return client, opening our first bank account, getting our business number! There have been many exciting stepping stones along this journey, and each small accomplishment reminds me how grateful I am to do this work with my team.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Fighting off imposter syndrome is incredibly difficult. There have been so many times (and I imagine many more to come) where I have wanted to give up because I don't think I can do it, but my community helps me see the value in what my team is doing, and I'm really proud of our work.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Look for the gaps. Look at a current system and figure out where the gaps in service are and what's missing from the current offerings out there.
  2. If you can't find the job you want, create it! This is how I felt when starting Raised Roots. I wasn't sure where I was going, but I knew what I wanted to do.
  3. Network because you want to get to know people, not because you are looking for jobs! Don't stop networking just because you have a steady job; stay curious and reach out to folks who are doing interesting work!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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