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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.

Civic Engagement School #3: How To Build Community Wealth

Sarah Al-Khayyal
1812

Writing for 1812, Sarah Al-Khayyal writes an introductary article on Community Wealth development. In 1812, this article highlights the different stratgies proposed by the Democracy Collaborative: 

Community wealth building is “a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership.” The term was coined in 2005 by The Democracy Collaborative to describe a range of strategies that help anchor jobs in a community, democratize wealth and asset ownership, and make communities more economically stable.

Read more in 1812

Reversing Inequlity, Session One of Two

Marty Wolff
Business Builders Show

Marty Wolff interviewing Chuck Collin on C-Suite Radiohighlights the work for equality through the Next System Project. Chuck Collins explain the next system and asking what we're living through right now. 

The Business Builders Show with Marty Wolff on C-Suite Radio is for entrepreneurs, business owners and business leaders. The mission of the show is to inform, inspire, educate and entertain our business audience. Show guests are best-selling authors, top professional speakers, CEOs and business leaders from some of the top companies in America. Show host, Marty Wolff is a highly respected executive coach and business consultant. Based on his reading hundreds of books and interviewing hundreds of guests for over five years, publishers, public relations firms and media companies request to have their clients on the Business Builders Show with Marty Wolff.

Listen here 

How Cleveland’s cooperatives are giving ex-offenders a fresh start

Apolitical
Apolitical

Apolitical writes about The Evergreen Cooperatives that were founded by the Democracy Collaborative. Apolitical writes about the challenges, how they were started and results and impact of Evergreen Cooperatives. 

The project was designed by the non-profit Democracy Collaborative and established in collaboration with the Cleveland Foundation, a private charitable trust, and the City of Cleveland. The co-ops, which consist of a laundry company, an energy efficiency contractor, and America’s largest urban farm, were grown with the help of procurement contracts with Cleveland's biggest schools and universities. All three use green technologies to reduce their carbon footprint, and can also save businesses money: for example, buying solar power from Evergreen Energy Solutions makes firms eligible for tax credits. After a year of work, employees at the co-ops can buy a $3,000 stake in their company through payroll deductions over a course of years, and also have a say in how it operates.

Read more about it here 

Democratic Ownership and the Pluralist Commonwealth: The Creation of an Idea Whose Time Has Come

Gar Alperovitz
Truthout

Writing for Truthout co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative Gar Alperovitz highlights the connection between Youngtown, Ohio, and the Principals of the Pluralist Commonwealth.

On September 19, 1977 -- a day remembered locally as "Black Monday" -- the corporate owners of the Campbell Works in Youngstown, Ohio, abruptly shuttered the giant steel mill's doors. Instantly, 5,000 workers lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and their futures. The mill's closing was national news, one of the first major blows in the era of deindustrialization, offshoring, and "free trade" that has since made mass layoffs commonplace.

Read more about it here 

For most people it's easier to imagine the destruction of the world than the end of capitalism

Mette Rodgers
Information
Mette Rodgers writing for Information Magazine, in Denmark, about the exploration of alternatives to capitalism through the Democracy Collaborative's Next System Project. She interviews Ted Howard about the community wealth building project and the ideas being put forth by the Democracy Collaborative: 

"...If 'our side' actually won the power, then we would have no idea what to do with it. There is no articulated political program yet," he says."

Read the rest of the piece 

 

Author David Ansell Exposes Inequality's Deadly Influence

Martha Jablow
AAMCNews

Writing for AAMCNews Martha Jablow writes about the deadly affect of poverty and inequality and how the work of the Democracy Collaborative through the Healthcare Anchor Network could be vital in tackling health inequality: 

There is a new national collaborative, called the Healthcare Anchor Network, that is bringing new focus to the role of health systems in bringing economic vitality to these high-poverty neighborhoods.

Read more in AAMCNews

Bottom Up Economic Development

Phil Anderson
Reader

Phil Anderson writes for Reader in Deluth, MN about the alternatives to top-down strategies for revitalization. Reader highlights the work of The Democracy Collaborative work in different neighborhoods and communities which aims to build community wealth instead of policies that "favor big buisness:" 

Democracy Collaborative is another organization “building community wealth.” Their publication, Cities Building Community Wealth, lists 20 cities with successful local initiatives (including Madison and Minneapolis). These cover a wide range of activities to increase local ownership, create affordable housing, help small business, increase minority businesses, revitalize neighborhoods and expand renewable energy use. 

More in Reader 

Is 'Going Local' the Secret to Economic Development?

J.B. Wogan
Governing

In Governing, a look at how Mayor Ras Baraka is championing a movement to hire locally in Newark, NJ.

“We think this could take off in lots of different communities," says Ted Howard, president of the Democracy Collaborative, a national nonprofit focused on economic development in urban areas. “We’re going to be promoting it."

Don’t Be Scared About The End Of Capitalism—Be Excited To Build What Comes Next

Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk
Fast Company

Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk write for the publication Fast Company, in this article, they highlight the work of the Democracy Collaborative through the Next System Project. Speifically looking at the innovative ideas proposed at the Next System Project. 

Fortunately, there is already a wealth of language and ideas out there that stretch well beyond these dusty old binaries. They are driven by a hugely diverse community of thinkers, innovators, and practitioners. There are organizations like the P2P (Peer to Peer) FoundationEvonomicsThe Next System Project, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking reimagining the global economy. The proposed models are even more varied: from complexity, to post-growthde-growthland-basedregenerativecircular, and even the deliciously named donut economics.

Read more about it Fast Company