Over the past 20 years, I founded and operated three enterprises: Fifth Town Artisan Cheese (the Worlds Greenest Artisan Dairy) and later, Eve-Volution Inc., re-branded as Highwire Collective in 2020) and LiisBethMX (nonprofit, 2020). LiisBeth Media and The Feminist Enterprise Commons are divisions of LiisBethMX.
I know. It sounds like a mixed bag. But these are all streams of work that connect to my main interests: feminism + entrepreneurship + post-growth economies+ justice.
Each endeavour is relatively small--but braided together, they add up, feed each other, and sustain me, my family and community. This is an example of portfolio entrepreneurship.
Help create a new post-capitalist, fair economy by designing/implementing start-up programming for radical entrepreneurs that align with feminist, social democratic imaginaries, post-growth and post-capitalist values.
Support /invest in experimental, punk, radical, post-capitalist, post everything feminist projects, enterprises and initiatives that work to expand our imaginariums and ideas of what's truly possible. (nonprofit)
Mergers & Exits
Support and spotlight the feminist economy through journalism, building community and storytelling.
Merged with rabble.ca March 2023. Thrilled! :-)
Liisbeth, named after The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (LisBeth Salander) is a micro, indie, intersectional feminist media enterprise that features stories about the feminist economy including changemaker profiles, "how to," personal stories, op-eds, critiques, news and analysis. Download our most recent impact report here.
LiisBeth was merged with rabble.ca in spring, 2023. It was a successful exit in community. Over its seven years, LiisBeth invested over $250K in editorial work. It broke even in 2020 and continued to grow during the pandemic.
The merger was a win-win: more feminist content for rabble.ca (1M readers) and more readers for stories about the feminist economy (LiisBeth had 30,000 readers).
Today you will still find liisbeth at www.liisbeth.com but also on rabble.ca. And check out some of our work by watching the videos below:
Demonstrate the potential of sustainable dairying; Innovate/put new eco-technologies into practice.
Sold/Exited 2012. Against my will. Lost the fight. :-(
Yes, I founded a cheese-making enterprise though I knew nothing about making cheese at first. What I did know is that how we made food had to change. I wanted to demonstrate that it indeed COULD change.
Fifth Town was incorporated in 2004 and opened its doors in 2008 as the world's first Platinum LEED-certified, artisan-scale food processing facility including power by wind, solar and geothermal energy. It was also Canada's 8th B Corp and Certified local food plus dairy.
The dairy won numerous sustainability, design, architectural and cheese awards in it's first few years. Sales rose to $1.8M in two years. The operation had 20 staff in the summer season.
After a bitter two-year battle for control that I lost, the dairy was sold --not to the bidders I hoped for. The dairy still operates today--but is nowhere near as green or committed to the same values.
To experience the old Fifth Town, check out this video here.
My First/Youth Business
Pay the rent. And provide great service.
With the guidance of our amazing mentors David and Ruthy Muller, sold the biz in 1987.
In 1985, it was either find work or give up the university degree dream. It was also THE 1980's. A recession. Double-digit interest rates.
So we started a company. A cleaning company. We didn't know how to clean, or run a company (we were journalism students) but found the help we needed by asking. It was a success. Degree? Done! Student loan? Paid! The business sold to a car dealership couple.
Our success? We owe a great debt of gratitude to was due to our amazing mentors, Ruthy and David Muller.