The Invest Local project is a growing collaboration between investors, entrepreneurs, and community initiatives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, housed under the Staunton Creative Community Fund. We hope that the “Us” is “About Us” will continue to grow, and we offer the following as an introduction to our history, partners, and evolution.
In late 2013, the Staunton Creative Community Fund (SCCF), which has been supporting new and expanding small businesses in the region since 2008, applied for and received a Planning Grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to evaluate the potential for an Invest Local initiative in the Valley. While SCCF has a long history of offering microloans, business planning assistance, match savings accounts, and even micro-grants, the decision to pursue an Invest Local model is its first attempt to link local investors with local entrepreneurs, thus creating a more connected entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The initial planning period resulted in numerous focus group meetings as well as the creation of our Invest Local ToolKit, a summary of successful local investing program around the country. With the knowledge that there was both local interest and national precedent, SCCF applied for a larger implementation grant, again through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. This grant has made possible a number of activities and partnerships, including:
- Contracting with Meghan Williamson to work with SCCF to launch the Invest Local platform, resources, and workshops.
- Hiring Cutting Edge Capital to produce the Handbook for Local Investing in Virginia, a legal guide for the investment laws unique to Virginia.
- Hosting author and Slow Money NC founder Carol Peppe Hewitt to provide workshops on the launch of investment networks in North Carolina.
Over the coming month, we anticipate creating additional resources, hosting a Meet & Greet for investors and entrepreneurs, sharing success stories of local investing projects, connecting interested investors with local projects, and working always to create a more democratic and connected local economy.
All work by www.invest-local.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Invest Local is a project of the Staunton Creative Community Fund.