Thrive Lake County is starting a LION: a local network of potential investors and emerging or established entrepreneurs working to create a more just and sustainable local economy. We believe savings and investments need to be working in alignment with our values, and we feel the best way to make this happen is to enable local investing.
Today’s SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) rules prevent people from investing privately in a business opportunity unless they are already in relationship with the owner of the enterprise. In several cities, supporters of the local economy movement have found a way to help people meet SEC rules by bringing them into relationship via fun social and educational gatherings called LIONs – Local Investing Opportunity Networks.
At a LION gathering, local residents come together to socialize, get acquainted, and to meet local entrepreneurs. Out of these relationship networks, new opportunities for local investing naturally arise. For example, if you are interested in supporting our local food economy, you might find yourself talking to a local farmer who is partnering with a young entrepreneur to start a food processing business using the farmer’s crops. Without an established credit rating, the young business owner might not qualify for a bank loan. But perhaps you could provide the loan and offer terms that give you a return on your investment without draining the emerging business of the profits they need to grow. Our local food system is strengthened. Jobs are created. You have the satisfaction of knowing your money is working in harmony with your values.
You can learn more about LIONs by visiting the LION Investing website, by emailing your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by posting a comment below. And, we hope you will also join us in person on Monday, June 25 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Lakeport Senior Center, 527 Konocti Avenue in Lakeport. We’ll get acquainted with each other, learn more about how a LION works, and start the process of understanding how to evaluate risk and learn what to ask for from a prospective business investment partner. There will be a $5 charge to cover the cost of refreshments, payable at the door. Please RSVP by adding a comment to this blog post