Slow money is a movement that has emerged over the last decade with networks of people, about a dozen groups here in the US, taking some of their money and investing it directly in small local food enterprises, from organic farms to local restaurants and everything in between. Since 2010 over $57 million has gone to over 600 small food enterprises.
Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money, says that in the 10 years since he founded the organization, he has realized that the conversation is almost as important as the flow of capital.
“It is abundantly clear to me that there is a need for nuanced authentic public conversation about what’s broken in finance and food and obviously politics is a whole other thing, and we don’t go there overtly, but quietly we’re talking about community and democracy and collaborative decision making and a whole bunch of other things.”
Tasch has written a new book SOIL: Notes Towards the Theory and Practice of Nurture Capital and this week is launching a new project called SOIL (Small Opportunities for Investing Locally)
“We have about 75 people who have pooled about $230,000, meaning contributed it in amounts ranging from $250 to $50,000. One person one vote, no matter how much money you put in. Farmers are in for $25, we’re not trying to take money from farmers, we’re trying to get money to them.”
The first official meeting happens this week in Boulder, and Tasch hopes this will develop into a sustainable funding source for local food enterprises.
“If we are able to sustain a few hundred thousand dollars or so of contributions from a hundred or so people every year, and do that to make zero percent loans, eventually that will grow very slowly, into a substantial pool of capital, completely member controlled, non-institutional, very grass roots, and hopefully we can make a dent.”
Woody Tasch will speak about his book SOIL at Mad Agriculture‘s monthly meeting on April 18th at the Altona Grange in Boulder. On Thursday April 12th, Tasch speaks on a panel on the future of small farms at the Conference on World Affairs.