by Bahar Gidwani
Slow Money is a national movement that seeks to fix our economy from the ground up, starting with food. The New York chapter has started growing quickly – they had to close registrations for a recent Meetup when they hit 70 people – about twice the capacity of the venue (Jimmy's 43, a great East Village bar).
The group sprang from a seminal book of the same name by sustainability visionary, Woody Tasch. As he pointed out, we all care about food. The New York chapter is connecting its members with food-related entrepreneurs and investors. They are also working on increasing access to capital for food companies who are trying to improve the sustainability of our food chain.
Slow money is a great example of a broad and growing grassroots movement to support and put money into smaller companies. For instance, we have recently learned of efforts in LA, Chicago, Western Massachusetts, and Colorado to funnel money into new sustainability-oriented ventures. This movement is also called “Common Good” investing. One of CSRHub’s board members – Ben Bingham – is currently launching a fund of positive impact funds that prioritize the common good (see www.3sistersinvest.com ) as part of 3Sisters Sustainable Management.
Sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs are planting the economic seeds of new crops of business models. Groups like slow money and these other funds are supplying the basic materials that new ventures need. Mentoring, marketing, and money are the basic soil and nutrients that make will make these new companies grow.