Slow Money is non-profit organization dedicated to investing in local food producers. It aims to connect investors to local food systems and support new local food businesses.
Mission and Purpose
Slow Money is a network of groups around the United States committed to investing in local food systems. It is a non-profit organization aimed at redirecting the flow of capital to local food systems.
Slow Money catalyses the formation of self-organizing local groups, which use a diversity of approaches to funding: public meetings, on-farm events, pitch fests, peer-to-peer loans, investment clubs and, most recently, non-profit clubs making 0% loans. So far, seventeen local networks and 11 investment clubs have formed to support local enterprises focused on locally grown produce.
Origins and Development
Since beginning in 2010, Slow Money has facilitated the movement of $73 million into 752 food enterprises .
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
Slow Money catalyses the formation of self-organizing local groups. There are currently 27 groups in the US.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
Local groups use a range of different approaches including public meetings, on-farm events, pitch fests, peer-to-peer loans, investment clubs and, most recently, nonprofit clubs making 0% loans .
Major Projects and Events
Slow Money clubs operate in diverse ways. One Colorado club, 2Forks, offers 0% loans to local farmers and food producers. Members make a small investment into a general pool of money, and then local producers propose their pitch at a club meeting, where members decide collaboratively and collectively how to allocate money based on how much impact the proposal will have on the local food economy. Repaid loans goes back into the general pool for redistribution. In many cases, recipients of loans also become investors in the club.
2Forks also emphasizes the non-financial returns such as supporting young and local food entrepreneurs and enhancing the local food economy .
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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Tasch, W. (2008). Inquiring into the nature of slow money: investing as if food, farms and fertility mattered. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing.
The first submission of this Participedia entry was adapted from an entry by the Institute of Development Studies as part of their research project 'Linking Participation and Economic Advancement’ licensed and reproduced under Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0): https://www.eldis.org/keyissues/mapping-participation-economic-advancement