A key investment was made recently by Mercedes-Benz USA to The Conservation Fund’s ShadeFund program. This program is a new endeavor by The Conservation Fund to provide green entrepreneurs small loans to help their businesses along. The program will tap into the growing trend of making loans to small American businesses and innovators who creatively and responsibly use natural resources to help grow a green economy. The loan funds will come from donated capital.
“As an inaugural sponsor of ShadeFund, Mercedes-Benz USA is investing in the spirit of innovation by providing much needed seed capital for companies in emerging green sectors. Together we can create creative conservation solutions that spur economic development and reward environmental and social responsibility,” said Shade Fund’s director, Rick Larson.
Mercedes-Benz has already named Connecticut-based City Bench and Bluebird Hill Farm of North Carolina, as the first two Mercedes-Benz Signature ShadeFund Entrepreneurs who will receive their loans by the end of the year.
Sustainable farms, forestry and forest products, eco-tourism and small-scale renewable energy production are among the industries eligible for the ShadeFund loans, which range from $5,000 to $50,000. In these tough times when even the most creditworthy businesses find difficulty in obtaining loans, green entrepreneurs are even harder hit by the fact that traditional financial institutions are unfamiliar with the business models that green projects promote.
Mercedes-Benz USA VP Steve Cannon declared that “”It is in that spirit of entrepreneurial partnership of founders Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz that we are partnering with The Conservation Fund to provide opportunity to a group of talented and passionate entrepreneurs who are working to innovate in the area of sustainability.”