Slow Money: Micro-Lending Helps Sustainable Farming Businesses in NC

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Slow Money NC


Low-Interest Loans for sustainable agriculture


Lack of Liquid Capital


Small Business Financing

Carolinians Provide ‘Slow Money’ in Support of Slow Food 

Slow Money NC has brought a new manner of investing to the Tar Heel state. As part of a larger Slow Money movement, Slow Money NC is made up of concerned citizens who use their personal finances to support sustainable food and farming throughout the state by offering peer to peer loans. The process is simple; successful applicants are provided low-interest loans based on their business plans and the personal relationships they develop with investors. 

So far, North Carolinians have provided forty-six loans to twenty-three local food enterprises in a variety of amounts: A $500 loan was provided for the proprietors of Lilly Den Farms in Chatham County in order to purchase labels for their meat packages. The largest loan of $30,000 was made to TS Designs, an apparel company in Burlington, NC. Five lenders who were friends and supporters of this local business lent $6,000 each. With this money TS Designs was able to purchase organic cotton from North Carolina farmers and help sustain the state’s agricultural economy. This cotton, in turn, will be processed into organic t-shirts and polo golf shirts.

In total, Slow Money NC has facilitated over $550,000 in loans. The loans provided North Carolina residents has helped a number of entrepreneurs establish or propel their businesses, many who could not obtain loans from traditional lenders. As a result, these investments instill a sense of pride in stakeholders whose efforts help a deserving entrepreneur pursue their dream. Slow Money NC states clearly that this is money that the lender should be prepared to lose, but the results so far have shown that these direct, peer to peer loans tend to perform very well.

Contact Carol Peppe Hewitt (co-founder) and visit Slow Money NC to learn more about its mission, view grantees, and join the Slow Money movement.

Posted by Willie J. Wright, 2012 Green Plus Fellow, for the Environmental Help Desk for Business 

The Environmental Help Desk for Business / Business Civic Leadership Center / Green Plus

Willie Wright is a first year PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina. Prior to his admittance he worked as a Research Assistant on the Research on Food and Farming for All (ROFFA) project, a National Science Foundation sponsored initiative, which assessed the...
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