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Foodshed Capital exists to build more equitable, regenerative foodsheds. We prioritize lending to borrowers who have historically faced difficulty accessing capital through traditional lenders, particularly low-income, BIPOC, female, immigrant, LGBTQ, or indigenous individuals. We equally prioritize borrowers who use regenerative practices, foster soil health and biodiversity, and produce nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate food for their foodsheds.

Our lending approach centers equity, patience, and flexibility. Specifically, that means we:​​

Keep the loan application process simple and expedient

Customize loans to meet a borrower's specific needs

Keep interest rates as low as possible, offering 0% for BIPOC borrowers

Offer flexible terms, and grace periods when possible

Remove credit scores from our underwriting process

Rarely collateralize loans, except for land and major equipment purchases

Don't rely on personal assets for loan repayment

This approach raises some eyebrows in the world of traditional lending, but it works because we view our borrowers as long term partners rather than customers. We maintain open lines of communication and schedule regular check-ins after a loan has closed, and we remain flexible throughout the life of the loan, adjusting terms if borrowers face adversity from weather, pandemics, health problems, or other issues outside their control. 

Business Support

Capital access is just one piece of the puzzle. When borrowers have the resources and support they need, they can put capital to work in more strategic and enduring ways. Foodshed Capital provides regenerative farmers and food entrepreneurs with zero-cost business support services—whether they've come to us for capital or not—to make sure they have a clear roadmap for their business and can make informed decisions about taking on debt.  This looks like: ​


Visiting the operation and discussing the farmer's needs and goals in person whenever possible

Assisting with cash flow analysis and cleaning up financial statements

Reviewing marketing strategies for current and future products

Providing direct support around financial literacy and bookkeeping, or bringing in additional support from partner firms who specialize in supporting small farmers

Offering strategic or financial planning support if borrowers are facing repayment challenges

In addition to our direct support services, we offer group presentations, seminars, and workshops (both in-person and virtually) throughout the region. We are almost always able to offer this support for free or at significantly reduced cost through generous support from our donors, grantors,  and programming partners.

Our Story

Foodshed Capital began in 2018 as a passion project inspired by Slow Money principles—catalyzing the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live, and promoting new principles of fiduciary responsibility that “bring money back down to earth.” 


And like so many passion projects, it soon took on a life of its own when we realized the extent of the need for affordable capital in the small-scale farming world. Originally named "Slow Money Central Virginia," we worked primarily with the farms most local to us near Charlottesville and Richmond, VA. We made our first loan in January 2019 and formed a 501(c)(3) in that spring. As we expanded throughout the state, we transitioned to the name Virginia Foodshed Capital. In 2020, we were certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and later that year, we made our first loan in Pennsylvania, beginning a regional expansion which has continued throughout the Mid-Atlantic in the years since. To reflect our growing footprint, we're now officially just Foodshed Capital.

In 2021, our lending more than tripled and our staff expanded to four people. We made our first loans in North Carolina and Maryland, and formalized our commitment to racial equity through a commitment to 0% financing for Black farmers. In 2022, we nearly doubled our team and quietly hit a major milestone: over $1 million deployed to underserved borrowers around the mid-Atlantic. In 2023, we doubled that—by the end of the first quarter, we'd deployed over $2 million in capital to farmers and food entrepreneurs from Georgia to Vermont.

We're enormously proud of the impact we've made in just five short years. We have met or exceeded many of the goals we set for ourselves when we created our Strategic Plan in 2020 and are in the process of creating a new plan in 2024. Until it's ready, you can learn more about our journey here:

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