Big Banks vs. the We Economy
There were big protests today outside the Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase Bank headquarters, challenging the banks’ practices of lending money to for-profit prison contractors running some of our country’s worst family immigration detention centers. The protests, led by the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition, are calling for the banks to stop financing these private prison companies, which profit off of human suffering.
While these too-big-to-fail banks have been lending to the private prison system, they have NOT been making small business loans to start-up companies like RedHen. They have strict requirements that bar us from entry: we would need to have been in operation and showing profit for at least 3 years, and/or put up collateral (such as a home) to receive a small business loan. This is nearly impossible for a wine import company, which requires significant capital to purchase the goods, hire the employees, and partner with the logistics team that would allow us to go into operation. Additionally, the average home price in Oakland right now is 750K, well beyond the realm of possible for us. Because of these requirements, many small businesses that receive loans from banks have everything on the line - losing their business would also mean losing their homes and their children’s college funds.
So to build RedHen’s start-up capital, we are making a direct public offering, which means that ordinary (and of course extraordinary) folks can invest directly in our company. We are building our start-up capital one person at a time - from individuals like you and me who are aligned with RedHen’s mission and values. And it goes both ways - our investors are happy know what their money is doing. Our investors know that while they are building personal wealth, they are also creating stability on farms and within families, fighting climate change, and supporting visionary women’s leadership.
We are part of a movement called the #weeconomy. If this speaks to you, we invite you to join us.