Slow Money NC is an organization that helps local people make affordable loans to projects that build their local food economy. Abundance NC serves as fiscal sponsor and cheerleader for Slow Money NC and its team.
Around the country people are talking about Slow Money, and staging conversations about the importance of investing in their local foodsheds. At the national level Slow Money is becoming a powerful force in affordable financing that feeds it’s citizens healthy, safe, agriculturally sustainable, locally grown foods.
In North Carolina Slow Money NC is putting these ideas into action. As of January 2017, over 200 affordable loans and equity investments have been made to 98 small food enterprises (sustainable farmers and local food businesses) around the state totaling over $3M.
Here is how it works:
We encourage you to start by signing the Slow Money principles. Stand up and be counted as someone who wants to make a difference in this wacky world of irrational investing.
We would be thrilled if you make a donation to Slow Money NC through our fiscal sponsor, Abundance NC, to help us keep catalyzing these loans! We rely almost entirely on donations from fine people like you. When a committed group of people do something small it can make a very big difference.
For every $1 donated to Slow Money NC in 2016, $50 flowed to local small food enterprises in North Carolina. Now that’s a powerful multiplier!
Invest directly in your local foodshed. Let us know if you would like to learn how to make a loan.
How much would you like to allocate for Slow Money loans in your community? Anyone with available capital may choose to make affordable loans (most loans range from $2000 – $30,000) to individuals with worthwhile projects that reflect the Slow Money mission. Their nurture capital will be lent to borrowers that they select. These are loans made between people who know each other, and have established a friendship, or may be family members. No fees are charged, we just grovel for donations.
We invite both lender and borrower to “pay it forward,” if they wish, so Slow Money NC and our fiscal sponsor, Abundance NC, can cover administrative costs and allow us to keep facilitating these loans.
Submitting the Lender Information Form simply lets us know you are interested so in learning more about this lending model. Lenders are welcome to become as involved as they wish in the process of recruiting and screening potential borrowers of their funds, as it is always entirely the lender’s decision as to how their money is loaned – to whom, and together with the borrower – over what payback period. That means you decide who you wish to lend money to and for how long.
If a loan fails, the capital is lost. Dollars put into Slow Money loans should be considered “at risk.” That said, in our experience, these types of local direct loans perform very well.
Reconnect with a portion of your money that you entrusted to strangers in faraway places and, instead, help build a more local, durable economy from the soil up! If we each invested just 1% of our portfolios in enhancing our local food systems the change would be extraordinary. Our money could quickly go to work enriching our lives, instead of the lives of faraway bankers and brokers.
When you make a loan to a farmer or other local food enterprises so they can expand and flourish, you can truly enjoy the fruits of their labor. If you include “meaning” in your investment metric, you will find making Slow Money loans offers insanely wonderful returns.
Tell us about your local food project that needs financing. It’s easy. Just complete a Borrower Information Form on this website. We will give it a look, and contact you, and discuss how you might connect with people interested in making Slow Money loans in your community. A Promissory Note detailing the agreement between lender and borrower – the amount of the loan, the length of the payback period, and the interest rate, amortized over the agreed period of the loan – is used to formalize the loan. A copy of the note is given to the lender, another to the borrower, and the third is filed in the Abundance NC office. Usually loans will be made for one(1) to five(5) year terms, and kept to maximum of ten thousand ($10K) per loan. Larger loans have been made, including one loan for $400K which was shared among sixteen lenders. To discuss your loan idea, you are welcome to contact Carol Peppe Hewitt at Slow Money NC directly.
Support your local food enterprises, and certainly the ones that receive Slow Money financing. Your money has power, and we can all be part of promoting an ethical, sustainable local economy through a program that offers an alternative to investing-as-usual, and promotes an economy that is restorative, rather than extractive, or exploitative to our communities and our planet.
Attend Slow Money NC Gatherings. Several time throughout the year we host “Financing Our Foodshed” gatherings so that potential lenders and farmers and food entrepreneurs can meet, share stories, and build relationships. And eat good local food! Please join us at our events and programs!
Lastly, share the story. Tell everyone you know about the availability of low-interest Slow Money loans and technical support for local sustainable food enterprises, for as Barbara Streisand is credited with saying, “Money is like manure. It’s no good unless you spread it around!”
If you are interested in getting community financing happening in your community, please contact us.
We would be happy to help.
Donate to Slow Money NC!
If you believe in what we’re doing, please consider giving any amount you can.