As we begin a new year, word from our three newest chapters.
As reported by Raphael Souchier.
Task force formed; researching new legal and financial tools; first investment project in sight.
A Slow Money task force recently was set up in France. Its members aim at promoting a broad dissemination of the “Sustainable Local Food Systems” vision in this country. We are working on designing and disseminating innovative legal and financial tools to help investors, farmers and local authorities join forces and experiment with new kinds of investment schemes and business models.
A first pilot project already is under way in the Rhône-Alpes region, where several meetings with local farmers and politicians have shown the way toward the creation of an innovative organic farm and community hub on a piece of suburban land. A proposal was prepared in December for local decision-makers to integrate into their urban planning policy, as an alternative to their initial project that focused on the development of another big-box commercial center. If all turns out well, we expect this to lead the way in 2013 to the first French Slow Money Chapter.
San Luis Obispo County
As reported by Jeff Wade.
Formation meetings; chapter recognition; first loan; 2013 promotion; building website.
The Slow Money San Luis Obispo County chapter (Slow Money SLO) is now active and growing, inspired by Woody’s presentation at a local sustainable food event benefiting the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The group, formed by a founding member of Slow Money, gathered at the event and held its first meeting in July. The chapter met four times in 2012, has been formally recognized by Slow Money and has made its first loan.
Early participants in the Slow Money SLO meetings immediately brought a loan candidate to the table. The San Luis Obispo Natural Foods Co-op has been a source for local, quality and organic foods for 30 years, but it has seen increasing competition in the area. An opportunity to move to a nearby, larger location would allow it to carry more products, have a larger garden in the back and provide a more modern shopping experience for customers. It would also give the Co-op a chance to expand membership and improve their financial condition. A number of the local Slow Money members agreed to support the Co-op with $30,000 in total funding, and within a couple of months, terms were settled and loans made. The Co-op has started remodeling its future location and the move is anticipated within a few months.
Local events such as the Bioneers conference have given the chapter a chance to spread the word. Linking to local groups such as Transition Towns, the Central Coast Ag Network and the Economic Vitality Corporation has brought in more members. Additional promotion in print and at events will occur in early 2013 along with the announcement of the Co-op expansion and the role Slow Money has played. The Slow Money SLO chapter members bring extensive business and agriculture experience to the table and plan to support local entrepreneurs with services as well as funding.
The chapter has appreciated support from neighboring Slow Money chapters in San Francisco and Santa Barbara and looks forward to working more closely with them in the future. Jeff Wade plans to attend the chapter leader retreat in Boulder before the April National Gathering.
As reported by Kyle Scrimgeour.
Chapter formed; four meetings held; fundraising launch and entrepreneur connect at NPEW in Anaheim; sustainable entrepreneur showcase.
Slow Money SoCal (Southern California) is pleased to announce our efforts in organizing as a formal chapter and steering committee in 2012, and holding four meetings at different venues to begin the process of bringing our community together to invest in our local food system. Here are meeting highlights.
August – The Duck Club, Irvine: Kyle Scrimgeour and Brent Collins discussed the Slow Money movement and the organization’s mission along with the opportunities and risks in our region’s food system.
September – Future Foods Farms, Brea: Adam and Barbi Navidi invited our group to their Future Foods Farms property for a tour and introduction to their innovative farming and aquaponic techniques.
October – Whole Foods, Tustin location: We were pleased to host Arno Hesse, a founding member of the Slow Money Alliance, and co-founder of Credibles, a new way for small businesses to borrow from their client network and repay with products and services. Arno also presented innovations in funding resources that enable entrepreneurs, investors, foodies and localization advocates to help drive the shift to more local, healthy and sustainable food and agriculture systems.
November – Good Food, Anaheim: Dwight Detter, a local forager for Whole Foods Market, discussed our regional food system and how to help startups get onto the grocery shelves. Dwight is a former Vietnam War–era veteran with over 20 years of experience in the food service industry¸ teaches classes on developing cottage businesses and works with community groups such as Orange County Food Access Coalition and San Diego Food System Alliance. He is currently involved in the development of a value-added program for returning Marines and soldiers operated in conjunction with Archi’s Acres VSAT Program.
December – Our group collaborated with Green Business Networking to help sponsor its annual holiday event, held for everyone committed to creating a more sustainable Los Angeles economy, at the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator in downtown Los Angeles.
Our organization is continuing outreach efforts in 2013 with the development of our local chapter website, the establishment of our LinkedIn site Slow Money SoCal, and building out our mailing list and Facebook presence.
Our 2013 calendar is being finalized, and in addition to our monthly community gatherings, other highlights include a March 7 fundraising launch event and entrepreneur connect held in concert with the Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, and in June a Sustainable Entrepreneur Showcase for our regional investors and entrepreneurs we are helping to organize and sponsor with our regional collaboration partners.