Slow Money.....I went to the conference in San Francisco and I have to say I was amazed. For those of you that are not familiar with Slow Money here is my take…
There are many folks that want to invest their money but don’t trust the stock market…that makes sense to me. These people also believe that the economy will grow if we give small business a chance to thrive.
The Banks are not lending to small business and when a loan is made the interest rates and fees are prohibitive. Slow Money investors are expecting to get money back but as the name implies, they are expecting a slow return and a modest one.
By investing in business ventures locally the money you invest stays local. Now that is an interesting thought (am I being too sarcastic?)!
These groups of investors are changing the way we borrow money. At the San Fran meeting there were 20 small entrepreneurs presenting their businesses and asking for small to large investments to grow. Some were as small as $1500 all the way up to $3 million. It was fabulous. All of the businesses were green, clean, environmentally sound and well thought out. They had business plans articulating growth expectations, expenses and exit strategies for investors (how the investor gets repaid). There is a San Francisco chapter meeting in Berkeley October 24th (look at their web site). If you are interested in an investment that supports your community, this is the place to be.
We are now building the Non Profit to train Future Farmers. Slow Money put me in contact with several possible investors that we can work with in the next few months. We want to build the infrastructure to train future farmers and help them into the land…be the bank…that is where you or those you know come in. Who do you know that may be interested in contributing, either from a loan perspective, a straight up contribution or in an advisory capacity. If you have interest, let me know and I will forward our business plan for your perusal. We are scheduling a meeting to discuss the plan with all interested, in any capacity, in November. Send me a note if you wish to attend (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will make sure you are on the invite list.
Thanks so much for helping keep your food REAL and your money here in the community.
Your Farmer Tara Smith