Green Business Compostable LA Grows Community Wealth with Crowdfunding
Can you visualize 50,000 pounds of food waste? That’s how many eggshells, wilted salad greens, apple cores, and avocado pits that Compostable LA diverted last year, mostly out the back of a Prius.
Compostable LA, a green composting business that collects food waste to be turned into nutrient-rich soil, crowdfunded $60,000 through a Honeycomb campaign, reaching their target in less than a week through 77 investors!
Because of their campaign, Compostable LA will be able to purchase more Green Delivery vehicles, as well as cover administrative and other working capital costs they need in order to grow in the new year.
What’s most incredible about the Compostable LA campaign is that it highlights the importance of building community wealth and showcasing community support for entrepreneurship.
As founder Monique Figueiredo put it, “Who needs a bank when I had 77 people step up and say, ‘Hell yeah, that’s amazing.’?”
From Wilted Greens to Community Gains
Compostable LA found Honeycomb as they were researching ways to find funding to support their green business’s growth, and they fell in love with Honeycomb’s community-oriented approach to investment.
For founder Monique Figueiredo, community is the onus for her eco-friendly business. She’s all about building decentralized frameworks, which essentially means keeping resources inside communities and letting the community benefit from them.
“Composting takes something normally seen as a waste product and makes highly nutritious food for the soil. It’s actually a resource,” says Monique. “In a community composting decentralized model, that resource stays within the community and helps build community resilience.”
Monique sees that her mission aligns perfectly with Honeycomb’s.
“One thing I really loved about Honeycomb was that it takes these same ideas into the finance world. To find something within finance that’s committed to building community wealth and keeping it in the community is something beautiful - which is what Honeycomb is,” she says.
“I have 77 investors, not just one bank. And all 77 investors are investing because this is what they want to see in the community.”
Sarah, an investor in Compostable LA, shares, “As far as I’m concerned, this investment was a no-brainer! Not only am I investing in a great company and its employees, but I’m investing in the work they’re doing. I’m investing in the earth. I would even have donated to this company, but the fact that I’ll get my money back with interest is a huge bonus and made the investment easy for me.”
Since the campaign, Compostable LA has grown by 75 new members. Through participating in Honeycomb’s massive Small Business Saturday marketing campaign, Compostable LA has donated 5 fruit trees to RootDown LA, a nonprofit empowering kids to grow and eat healthy food, and sent compost tea to 65 of their investors.
Finding Warmth in a Campaign
As the campaign picked up speed, Monique couldn’t believe the outpouring of support from her community. “I couldn’t process the amount of joy I was feeling,” she says.
“As an entrepreneur, it can feel kind of lonely, it can feel like you’re on this journey trying to build something, and you don’t know if you’re a little bit crazy, or if anyone else is into it. To receive this very visual outpouring of support, it shook me in a way,” says Monique.
“Someone contributed $5,000 to the campaign and I was like, ‘Someone would put $5,000 into something I created and something I envisioned? What?’ It really validates your vision and says that you’re onto something and your community is into it.”
Monique was also impressed by the human touch that the Honeycomb team brought to her campaign.
“Chelsea (Director of Business Development) and Becca (Customer Success) were allies in our journey, they wanted us to succeed because it’s not just business, it’s human connection,” she says. “The Honeycomb team brought warmth to something that could have been cold and impersonal.”
Creating Room to Grow
Compostable LA has come a long way since slinging compost out the back of a Prius. Now, since launching their sustainable green business, they’re using their Honeycomb campaign loan to purchase vans and extra support for pickup routes, and are moving into a new space.
In 2021, Compostable LA hopes to expand into other parts of Los Angeles County from Hollywood to South LA, work on improving waste management systems for larger events, and focus on intentional growth so they can sustain the business just as they’re sustaining their community.
Plant seeds of community wealth with your business
You can be do-gooders like Compostable LA too and make a difference in your community! All kinds of businesses from fashion retailers to local breweries have successfully funded their dreams through Honeycomb Campaigns, while contributing to their community investors’ bottom line in the process.
Learn more about Honeycomb and see how a campaign can help your business grow (hey, kind of like compost!) at https://www.honeycombcredit.com/grow