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Business Ownership For The 99%: How To Finance It

Anne Field
Forbes

One goal for a lot of social entrepreneurs is for business ownership to be held by as many people as possible.

But that’s tricky for many reasons. Take the matter of financing. Funding inclusive models, as they’re called,  is different from financing  the usual suspects, that is, companies owned by the few that aim to maximize financial returns only.

“It’s not necessarily harder, but it seems harder, because it’s different,” says Majorie Kelly, executive vice president and senior fellow at The Democracy Collaborative. In other words, funders need a greater comfort level with these models before they dole out the money.

With that in mind, Democracy Collaborative recently published a report examining a variety of ownership models and ways to finance them. Here’s a look at a few, along with some innovative financing approaches...

A Powerful, Under-Used Tool for Addressing the Roots of Inequality: Inclusive Ownership

Marjorie Kelly
Stanford Social Innovation Review

In this blog for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, our Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly delves into some of the groundbreaking models for inclusive ownership that are increasingly making an impact on the lives of workers and community members. Kelly offers these strategies as concrete and evolving ways to help equitably distribute wealth in the US and beyond, creating a sustainable and fair economic system:

Building the Inclusive City

Marjorie Kelly
Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Stanford Social Innovation Review features our new report, Cities Building Community Wealth, emphasizing that the innovative collaborative approaches to economic development highlighted by author Marjorie Kelly are truly seeing results.

7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification

Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley
Yes! Magazine

YES! Magazine talks to Marjorie Kelly about the seven drivers cities can use to develop economies that build community wealth detailed in our report, Cities Building Community Wealth

More Cities Get Serious About Community Wealth-Building

Anne Field

Following the release of our report, Cities Building Community Wealth, journalist Anne Fields emphasizes the growing need for local governments to pass policies that benefit communities. Field draws examples from Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley (co-authors of the report) that discuss the 20 cities highlighted in the report.

Taking the Bureaucratic-Speak Out of Community Wealth Building

Oscar Perry Abello
Next City

Next City reporter Oscar Perry Abello highlights the innovation inherent in the Democracy Collaborative report, Cities Building Community Wealth. Abello describes authors Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley as important voices in exposing the Community Wealth Building movement, "a movement that has been brewing beneath the radar for at least 40 years."

Communities Building Their Own Economies

Steve Dubb
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Steve Dubb writes for the Stanford Social Innovation Review on the importance of having access to tools that educate and empower low-income communities to shape their economic future.

Empowering communities to take control of economic development is slow, patient work—and people funding or supporting it need to take this into account when assessing success. Long-term, place-based commitments are critical; parachuting in and out does little to build local capacity. And the metrics we use need to take into account the often intangible relationship-building that weaves together a truly empowered community; shortcuts and quick fixes can cause real damage.

How Communities Can Build Wealth by Knocking on Doors

Oscar Perry Abello
Next City

In Next City, Oscar Perry Abello looks at how our new report Educate and Empower highlights key strategies for building stronger community wealth building initiatives.

“People know that there are door-knocking campaigns and community organizers do it all the time, but have they thought of this consciously as a tool for economic development,” explains Keane Bhatt, senior associate for policy and strategy at the Democracy Collaborative, based in Takoma Park, Maryland. Bhatt is co-author of Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, a report released today that features profiles of 11 organizations includingPUSH Buffalo.

“What we’ve done is go around to 11 different community-wealth building institutions to try to seek out from a broad diversity of initiatives some kind of underlying themes that are crosscutting in nature,” Bhatt says...

Read the rest at Next City

 

Mayor Brown Announces Task Force Members For Economic Development Initiative in Northwest Jacksonville

City of Jacksonville
City of Jacksonville

Goal is to Create Jobs with Innovative, Community-Based Economic Development

Mayor Alvin Brown today announced the members of a newly-formed task force to guide a Community Wealth Building Initiative that will focus on new strategies to create jobs and business opportunities in Northwest Jacksonville.

Hacking the American Dream: Progressive Senators Go Big for Worker Ownership

Jessica Bonanno
Common Dreams

Two common-sense pieces of federal support for employee business ownership on the table...

The best-kept business model secret of our age is about to get the spotlight it has long deserved. It's employee ownership—a proven, common-sense pathway to reduce inequality, anchor jobs at home, and rebuild a strong and stable economy, using a vehicle that’s as American as apple pie: making entrepreneurs out of regular, working folks.

Democracy Collaborative's—Chief Financial Officer and Director of Employee Ownership Programs—Jessica Bonanno writes in Common Dreams about the benefits of employee ownership...read more  

Democracy Collaborative In Left Forum

Between The Lines
Left Forum

At Left-Forum—co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative—Gar Alperovitz discusse building the Pluralist Commonwealth and "the Resitance" in 2017...listen here

Employee ownership can pay dividends for investors, too

Dennis Price
Impact Alpha

Investment opportunities in employee ownership are limited but emerging, says a new report from the Democracy Collaborative, authored by Mary Ann Beyster of the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Impact Alpha cites "Impact investing and employee ownership" by Fifty by Fifty in it's article by about the profits of Employee Ownership...read here 

Inequality is Murder

Murshed Zaheed
We Act Radio

Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution, is co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of its Next System Project. He is also the author of two major studies of the Hiroshima decision: Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb...listen here 

How radical co-ops are leading the way to a new, democratic political economy

Miles Hadfield
Coop News

Organisations like Cleveland’s Evergreen Co-operatives are creating opportunities for co-ops in poor urban communities and helping to decentralise planning

Coop news cover's Gar Alperovitz Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth highlighting the link between The Democracy Collaborative work with hospitals and the long term vision of a new socierty with The Next Sytem Project... read more 

 

New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership

Fifty By Fifty

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Most recently, research from the National Center for Employee Ownership released in May shows that employee owners have a household net worth that is 92 percent higher than non-employee owners. They also make 33 percent higher wages, and are far less likely to be laid off...read more

The creation of common wealth

Helena Ancos
Agora

Note this article is in spanish...The Democracy Collaborative has coined the term "community wealth building" to describe the systems-wide approach to inclusive economy...read more

New Budget Deal Preserves All 19 Social Spending Programs Trump Tried to Eliminate

James Trimarco
Yes! Magazine

Economic relief agencies as well as support for arts and culture got nearly a five-month reprieve from the more radical cuts proposed in Trump’s budget...read more