Success Stories: The Urban Farm Company grows from local investments

Slow Money loan recipient Bryant Mason starts seeds to help grow community gardens.

Slow Money loan recipient Bryant Mason starts seeds to help grow community gardens.

While looking for example success stories of small businesses benefiting from local investing, we were lucky enough to get the chance to talk with Bryant Mason, the founder of the Urban Farm Company of Colorado. The Urban Farm Company of Colorado does some amazing work, which in their own words “is focused on increasing the number of gardens in communities and decreasing the time, knowledge, and confidence barriers preventing people from growing their own food. Our entire service is designed to make gardening easier, less time consuming, and more fruitful for the average person.”

The Urban Farm Company installs gardens and provides resources to help individuals make the most of their gardens. They strive to have a positive environmental impact and educate individuals about how to garden, thus allowing more people to have healthier, fresh, and better food to eat.

The Urban Farm Company of Colorado is a perfect example of local investing at work. When Bryant Mason was working towards growing the Urban Farm Company, he took advantage of local investing, through the Slow Money model. He has worked with both Slow Money Boulder and Slow Money Denver in Colorado.

Slow Money is a movement in which investors provide capital to small enterprises that have food related missions. Bryant first learned of Slow Money after reading the book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money by Woody Tasch. Bryant found that this opportunity worked perfectly for him as he was at a stage as a very small business in need of small financing and short-term debt. He didn’t fit the standards of traditional banks, and didn’t need or want the kind of big financing that banks offered. He found that Slow Money gave him the small amount of financing he needed at a very low interest rate.

And of course, his Slow Money supporters had an opportunity to invest in a business that was doing they kind of work they believe in — generating both a social and monetary return.

akids 7This is the kind of local investing opportunity that Invest Local is working to bring to our community in Virginia.  If you’re interested in participating, let us know by checking out our Borrower and Investor pages and filling out one (or both!) of their info forms.

To learn more about the Urban Farm Company check out their website at urbanfarmcolorado.com

To learn more about the national Slow Money movement check out their website: slowmoney.org

 

 

This blog entry is a posting by Betsey Suchanic, a Mary Baldwin College intern who is collecting the stories and perspectives of local investing beneficiaries and participants. Look for more of her writings on www.invest-local.org soon!

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