Lending Through Slow Money Virginia
There are currently two ways in which you can lend to farmers and food entrepreneurs in our local foodshed. Either way, we call it Nurture Capital! It is essential to supporting the long-term health and resiliency of our local food system.
1) Our SOIL Fund -
This is currently our most common approach. By participating in this fund you are “investing” by way of a charitable contribution. The contribution goes into our SOIL fund, and Slow Money Virginia takes care of the rest by making 0% loans to farmers who are in need of capital and are dedicated to using resilient, eco-friendly practices that produce healthy, nutritious food for our local communities. Most of these loans average around $5,000-10,000. While charitable contributions may not traditionally be considered “investments” per se, we’re confident your contribution to our SOIL fund will produce valuable returns in the form of healthier soil and nutritious food for our communities in Virginia. PLUS, as a revolving loan fund your contribution will continue to give for years on-end as loans are repaid back into the fund.
Anyone can participate in our SOIL fund by making a contribution as low as $25. We also appreciate major gifts that can help us reach our long range goal of growing the fund to over $1 million. After starting our initial fund in Central Virginia, we now also have one in Tidewater. As a supporter you can request that your contribution be earmarked for farms in one of those two regions. Or if that is not overly important to you, then your contribution will be used to support our efforts in either of those regions or anywhere else in the state, which we greatly appreciate as we expand our footprint.
2) Peer-to-Peer Lending -
We use this strategy for those loan requests that are too large for our current SOIL fund reserves, or for requests from off-farm food businesses. Slow Money Virginia’s role is simply to catalyze these loans. Once we receive an inquiry from a potential borrower, we will pass it along to you, as a potential lender, and you can decide if you want to pursue it further by contacting the applicant. These loans include a low interest rate typically below 6% and are secured with a promissory note. For very large loan requests, groups of lenders may get together to share the risk, but Slow Money Virginia does not broker these arrangements. Slow Money Virginia does not charge any fees for presenting these loan opportunities.
If you are interested in being contacted about peer-to-peer lending opportunities as they arise, please fill out the Lender Information Form below so we can curate the opportunities according to your interest. But first the Disclaimer: Slow Money opportunities are not an offer to sell securities nor a solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Slow Money Virginia does not give investment advice, endorsement, analysis or recommendations with respect to any securities and is not a broker, venture fund or an investment advisor. Furthermore, while some of these loans may be secured by collateral, many are not. Slow Money loans are personal loans and definitely carry a level of risk. We stress that it must be money that you can afford to lose!
peer-to-peer Lender Information Form
By submitting the form below, I certify that I would like to discuss the possibility of making a loan to a food entrepreneur in the local foodshed. This would be a direct peer-to-peer loan, using a Promissory Note between me, the lender, and the entrepreneur/borrower.The Slow Money Virginia team will contact me to discuss this further. Any loans that I decide to make are entirely at my own discretion. I understand this money will be lent to individuals and enterprises that can fail, and that there is a chance this money will not be returned to me. I realize that these are meant to be affordable loans, and the interest rate will be negotiated between the lender and borrower, typically below 6% depending on the size and term of the loan. Furthermore, have read and agree with the Slow Money Principles, and I am committed to the mission of Slow Money Virginia. This money is discretionary, and I want to see it invested in my community. Any questions can be directed toward Michael Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.