The Mark Johnson Show on WDEV featured a 1-hour conversation with Janice St. Onge, President of the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C, and four Flex Fund borrowers: Dan Holtz (Liz Lovely), Greg Georgaklis (Farmers to You), Chris Bailey (Vermont Smoke and Cure), and Nils Behn (Aegis Wind).
The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund recognizes that companies in rural areas like Vermont tend to be smaller and work on a less-than global scale, offering a return on investment that does not always meet venture capital levels. These rural companies may need a form of “equity” to fuel growth but need it in lesser amounts and perhaps at lower returns than traditional venture capital requires. That’s why the Fund balances equity features and returns with the reality of small business in Vermont, offering flexible risk capital and technical assistance to fit Vermont’s early and growth stage companies’ needs.
The Flex Fund is the first of its kind in Vermont to be strategically focused on providing near equity or mezzanine financing (subordinated debt, royalty financing and/or warrants) to a unique, and often, neglected group of growth companies in Vermont. These businesses are on the forefront of accelerating the development of healthy food systems, renewable energy, vibrant economies and resilient communities, while also protecting the environment in Vermont.
If your business is looking for flexible financing, or if you have clients that are interested, make sure to listen to this broadcast:
And be sure to check out Chapter 4, Section 5: Financing the Food System for more information.