Shannon Bennett of Community Well with Matt Goss of Herbidoor
The Community Well (formerly The Village Well) have now completed their initial pilot program and provided their first loan & mentorship to vegan ready meal maker Herbidoor, a small business founded and run by Pottsville local Matt Goss. The team are now inviting applications from values-aligned businesses in our community.
The Community Well is focused on providing debt funding and mentoring to local businesses that are contributing to building regenerative and resilient communities. Aiming to build financial relationships that are direct, personal and transparent, this initiative supports businesses that are contributing long-term social, economic and ecological benefits for our community.
This initiative has been built on the collective support of local organisations and individuals. Thanks to support from the Ecstra Foundation, NRCF has provided funding to employ a Project Manager to run the initiative. Significant pro bono support has also been received from Small Giants Academy, and law firms SBA Law and Hall & Wilcox, to help the initiative get up and running.
Investor members of the Community Well have contributed capital to lend to local businesses, as well as their time and expertise to provide mentorship to the borrowers. Capacity to provide mentoring support has now been expanded through a partnership with Sourdough Business Pathways’ Mentoring Program.
The Community Well pilot program commenced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving the team plenty of first-hand experience supporting a business owner as they faced significant challenges arising through the pandemic, while also being on the verge of a potential step change in growth.
Community Well Deputy Chair, Australian chef, restaurateur and author Shannon Bennett, provided mentoring to Herbidoor during this difficult period. “Back when I started my first business, I received advice from an incredibly experienced mentor that helped me to understand the fundamentals of generating positive cash flow and growing, and this advice has stayed with me as I’ve expanded beyond that very first restaurant,” said Shannon.
“It might be obvious to those who know me, but mentoring is a real passion of mine and I love helping fellow chefs and business owners like Matt where I can, and seeing them succeed is even better. We at Community Well are excited to be opening our doors and providing this financial and mentoring support to more businesses in our beautiful Northern Rivers,” he said.
The Community Well are now ready to lend to businesses in the Northern Rivers that have a purpose beyond profit and aim to have a positive social, environmental and economic impact. Whether you’re a start-up with only a year of operations, or a business with years under your belt but in need of values-aligned expansion capital, The Community Well can provide debt funding of between $10,000 and $50,000 for up to a three-year term.
For further details, read their full press release and explore the new Community Well website here.