Slow Money Virginia formed in 2018 with a mission to provide financial stewardship for small-to-mid-scale organic farms and food entrepreneurs in the local foodshed, including both urban and rural areas. Our primary means of doing so is through a 0% revolving loan fund for farmers and food entrepreneurs who need capital and are dedicated to using resilient, eco-friendly practices that produce healthy, nutritious food for our local communities. We launched our organization with a focus on Central Virginia but are now expanding our footprint throughout the state.
Our long-term mission includes building a broad system of financial support and education for our local foodshed. This includes exploring land acquisition strategies and supporting our borrowers with ongoing financial, business, and marketing training and education. (For more about about the ethos behind Mission, scroll below.)
More about the ethos behind our Mission at Slow Money Virginia...
Local food stands on the precipice of great change. It’s been mostly viewed in recent decades as luxury or a lifestyle choice for those who can afford it. But it is now poised to become a necessity as our global industrial food system begins to crack under the weight of its own environmental destruction and an intractable worldwide health epidemic. Local food is the cornerstone of food sovereignty, security, and resiliency. Our small sustainable farms will become the most important enterprises in our communities, as they once were.
But unfortunately farms don’t have ready access to traditional financial services like other businesses do. It’s fair to say that the people producing our healthiest food are disenfranchised by our economic system, which focuses on growth at all cost, and by our government, which mostly supports large scale industrial farming. Small-scale sustainable farms need capital to grow and compete. They need a better foundation to take on a larger economic role in our local communities. And they need a local financial structure that understands their needs and can help elevate them to the stature they deserve. It is time for us to make financing our regional foodshed a top priority. That’s where Slow Money is stepping in.
Slow Money Virginia is part of the national Slow Money movement. We are affiliated with the Slow Money Institute, which was founded in 2009 in Boulder, CO by Woody Tasch. The Slow Money movement encourages investors and philanthropists to consider allocating capital to farmers and food entrepreneurs who need capital and are dedicated to using resilient, eco-friendly practices that produce healthy, nutritious food for our local communities.
Our SOIL 0% Loan program depends on the generosity of a new type of investor/philanthropist. While donations are a charitable contribution, our appeal is to think of yourself as a Nurture Capitalist and watch your money grow in a whole new way. Nurture Capital turns traditional thinking about finance on its head. Returns are measured not in dollars. They are measure by the impact we can collectively have on fostering a healthy, sustainable, and resilient local food system. Nurture capitalism is a chance to rise above impersonal, transactional processes, and become interconnected. It’s a chance to nurture relationships with the people producing our healthiest food and to seed new sources of capital for their growing needs.
Our approach is truly unique in the world of finance. While numbers are important, we place a priority on the words that matter to the local foodshed: food sovereignty and security, soil fertility, biodiversity, land access, racial equity, and financial justice for all.
Please Join Us…