December 06 , 2016

Looking for more ways to make a difference? Consider investing locally.

Hey, investors!  Yes, you.  Yes, seriously...I am talking to you.  

You are an investor.

You have a 401K, right?  An IRA?  What about a bank account?  Then, you are in investor.  Your money is invested in businesses whom you expect will do responsible things with it in a way that will yield you a healthy enough return so that you can take care of your future self.  

Are your investments aligned with your values?

They say that money makes the world go round.  So, you may as well use your money to make the earth spin in the direction you want it to go in.  The businesses your money is invested in are likely large multi-national corporations.  Unfortunately, the way many of our investment portfolios are set up, we often don't know exactly which businesses are money is in.  And, when we do know, we rarely receive the kind of information from these companies to know how they are using our money.  We don't get the chance to sit down with the leadership.  We don't get to see how they treat their employees.  We don't exactly know if they sit on the right side of social justice, compassion, and community.

During this time when many of us are asking ourselves "What more can I do to make a difference in my community?," I urge you to consider taking some of your money out of Wall Street and instead, investing it in Main Street.  Invest some money in your local community.  In the businesses that were born and raised in your neighborhood.  In the products and services you use and care most about.  The ones where you know the owners.  Maybe you have had coffee with them.  Your kids go to the same school.  Y'all attend the same church or synagogue.  You know the business owners I am talking about.

How do you invest locally?

Check out all of the amazing resources featured on:

  • Locavesting - Amy Cortese is a journalist who (literally) wrote the book on local investing.  Her site is a great place to start to build your knowledge of the world of local investing - how to do it and why it's so important.
  • Local Investing Resource Center - another great site containing the how to's of local investing
  • Investibule - Brought to you bu Locavesting (above) this site connects you directly to local investment opportunities in communities all over the country
  • Kiva - Kiva Zip loans have helped thousands of business owners all over the world grow their businesses and now they are helping entrepreneurs right here in the US
  • Slow Money - For those of you who are especially into food and sustainability, this is the go-to source for investing in your local food producers.  Here is the site of our northern California chapter which is a major player in this movement.

investment_call_small_square.jpgLast, but certainly not least, I would like to invite you to invest in our business.  We are using the WeFunder platform that allows businesses like ours to raise money directly from our community.  It's an incredible opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to work together.  And it really is for everyone - not just rich people.  Just yesterday, we got an investment of $10,000 AND we also got one for $500.  All from folks who believe in our business and what want to see businesses who are doing good in the community also do well.  Learn more about our investment opportunity here.

 

Watch this

This video features leaders in this movement, Jenny Kassan and Ryan Honeyman, co-founders of the Force for Good Fund, the first accelerator / fund for women- and people of color-owned, “Best for the World” B Corporations.  The Force for Good Fund will be investing in our business so we got a chance to talk about why this type of investment is so crucial for individuals and communities at this time in history.

Where is your money invested?  Have you ever considered investing locally?  What wisdom do you have to share?