Shade Fund

Shade Fund LogoFarmers and landowners who are committed to using farmland sustainably and are looking to gain some additional capital to grow their business are eligible for loans from ShadeFund, a new initiative launched by The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.

ShadeFund pools donations from individuals, foundations and corporations to make loans that help small green businesses grow and thrive. Targeted sectors include: sustainable agriculture; eco- and agro-tourism; sustainable forestry and forest products; non-timber forest products; and small-scale biomass and renewable energy.

"At ShadeFund, we understand that healthy green businesses are essential to healthy communities," says Web Community Manager Enrique Perez ( "Unfortunately, finding the capital sustainable farmers need to produce and grow markets for their green enterprises is tough, especially in this economy.That's where ShadeFund can help."

Businesses or entrepreneurs based in the US are eligible for ShadeFund loans from $5,000 to $50,000. The funds can be used for new equipment, facility improvements, or for working capital needs such as inventory or certification costs. Terms and interest rates depend on the stage of the business, credit-worthiness of the borrower, and available collateral.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to download an application at, and to contact Rick Larson, ShadeFund Director at 919-951-0113 or

Shade Fund - Blueberry Hill Farm


Photo: Norma DeCamp Burns, ShadeFund sustainable farmer, Bluebird Hills Farm, NC


The Conservation Fund:

At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected nearly 7 million acres across America. Website:


The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities:

The Endowment works to ensure America's forests are sustainably managed to meet broad societal objectives. It works to secure marketable products, preserve clean water, wildlife habitat and other ecological services, and promote healthy and vibrant forest-reliant communities. Founded in 2006, the nonprofit Endowment was established at the request of the governments of the United States and Canada in accordance with the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the two countries. The Endowment is one of three entities designated to share in a one-time infusion of funds to support meritorious initiatives in the U.S. It has been endowed with $200 million under the terms of the SLA. Website:

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