Posted on Nov 2, 2017 in | 2 comments

Usually we don’t fund nonprofits, but when trusted colleagues are as excited as they are about Accelerating Appalachia, we were compelled to take a closer look.

And what we saw was incredible! Sara Day Evans, a native Kentuckian, envisions a thriving Appalachia with local, nature-based businesses. 

 “Appalachia is the most diverse foodshed in North America, and one of the most BIODIVERSE regions on the planet – our diversity of seeds, plants, forests is unparalleled. Healthy soil is second only to the oceans for carbon sequestration. We are cultivating businesses that serve our basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and wellness while regenerating soil, water and people.” – Sara Day Evans

What is a nature-based business? It’s a “basic needs business” such as sustainable food, farming, forests, fiber, fuels, green building and clean energy that relies on local natural resources but in a non-destructive and even beneficial way.

Accelerating Appalachia is a business accelerator, an organization that connects young businesses with funding, education and support to help their ventures succeed. Accelerating Appalachia is a “regenerative economy accelerator” to support businesses that are beyond sustainable and actually help to regenerate the soil, the water, the landscape and the economy.

Over 4 years, Accelerating Appalachia has facilitated $11.4 million in investment for local businesses, 75% of which are women-owned! This translates into more than 1000 “green” jobs in an area where coal and tobacco jobs have declined precipitously.

Untours Foundation is proud to help Accelerating Appalachia move into 2018 with the means to expand their training and support of local triple-bottom-line businesses — growing good jobs and healing the planet.

When Untours Foundation funds nonprofits, we work in the same model as with for-profit businesses, providing a very low-interest rate loan over a set period of time, providing “patient capital” that is truly beneficial to our investees. We look forward to what Accelerating Appalachia will create this year!