We provide nurture capital to local farms and food enterprises in two ways:

If you are interested in contributing financially to either of these two programs, please see more information on our Lending Page.

1) SOIL FUND (Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally)

Currently this is by far our more typical approach. Here's how it works:

  • Slow Money Virginia pools charitable contributions from citizens who want to make an impact on their local food system.

  • We then make 0% interest loans to community farmers and local food entrepreneurs.

  • Loan funds circulate. So when a loan is paid back, it goes back into our fund for future loans!

  • Loans are selected based on applicant's potential to make the greatest positive impact on our local food economy and a set of ethics established by a loan selection committee.

  • Nurture Capital members of Slow Money Virginia who donate above $25 are included in the loan making process. They receive summaries of the loans before they are made and are included in other optional activities such as farm visits and special events.

2) PEER-TO-PEER Lending

These are low interest loans for needs that are too large for our SOIL fund and/or involve an off-farm food business. Peer-to-peer loans are made directly from someone in the community who has shown an interest in supporting local food. These are meant to be affordable loans and the interest rate will be negotiated between the lender and borrower, typically between 2% and 4% depending on the size and term of the loan.

* There are no fees to apply for either of the loans types above.

Our nurture capital programs are intended to balance proper due diligence with the nimbleness not afforded farmers through USDA programs or traditional banking. Loans will be considered on request and be examined initially based on these considerations: 1) Length of time and prior success farming; 2) Consistency of the loan request with the values of Slow Money; 3) Potential impact on the local foodshed; 4) Potential for repayment. 

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.

We are currently accepting applications for loans. If you are interested, please click the button below:

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