Mission: SMW supports community-centered investing in resilient and healthful food systems.
Slow Money is a 501(c)3 dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live and promoting new principles fiduciary responsibility that "bring money back down to earth." Through local networks, investment clubs, regional events, national gatherings, BEETCOIN campaigns and the Slow Money Principles, individual investments ranging in size from $25 to $3 million have been made in support of small, local, organic farms and food enterprises, mostly in the U.S., but also in Canada, France and Switzerland.
According to the 2014 State of the Sector Report, from 2009 to 2013, $31 million flowed through the Slow Money network to 246 small food enterprises. This funding occurred primarily via local networks and investment clubs and, occasionally, through national gatherings.
There are now over 25 Slow Money regional networks around the U.S. and 4 international chapters conducting local food systems assessments and deal identification, holding regional gatherings & entrepreneur showcases and making loans or forming funds to link those working to build their own sustainable food businesses with those who believe in the value of local food system resiliency and revitalization.
Taste of Soul and Parklawn were extremely fortunate and favored to participate in the 2013 Slow Money Business Investors showcase. We did receive at least three promising financial responses (Most notably Forward Wisconsin CI) but have not yet entered into any agreements. Taste of Soul Foods is still building its capacity. Tera Johnson's support and encouragement was most appreciated.
Slow Money Wisconsin
Slow Money Wisconsin is a regional network within the national Slow Money brand. We are bringing people interested in investing in local food enterprises and sustainable farms here in Wisconsin together with the sustainable farms and local food entrepreneurs seeking investment.
Working with Forward Community Investment (FCI), and the Willy Street Co-op, we've instigated the Willy Street Co-op Local Vendor Loan Fund.
In 2013 & 2014 we hosted our first Business and Investors Showcases, featuring 8 local food entrepreneurs in the first, and 9 in the second. Over $600,000 worth of investment resulted from the 2013 Business and Investors Showcase to-date. Four of the nine businesses from the 2014 Showcase have found investment, in part because of the technical assistance they received to become ready.
As of this writing, we are gearing up for the 2015 Business and Investors Showcase.
"Slow Money's BIS has been a unique and rewarding way for me to grow as an entrepreneur. It is a space that allows for beginning conversation between businesses and investors. These are conversations that I believe are leading to lifelong relationships. As a young businessperson with no real connections to funding sources outside of my small circle this event and community have become my foundation for building and maintaining these relationships. As a result of the BIS, I have engaged with two strong financial partners and continue to meet others on a consistent basis both in the food industry and investment industry." - Rufus Haucke, Just Local Foods
A newly-elected Slow Money Wisconsin Board consists of Tera Johnson, Jim Gage, Grant Abert, Will Hughes, Mark Olson, Bartlett Durand, with insights from Michael Hernke, Rebecca Ryan and others.