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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.

Beyond extraction: The political power of community wealth building

Martin O'Neill and Ted Howard
Renewal

Martin O'Neill and Ted Howard write for Renewal "Beyond extraction: The political power of community wealth building."  In this piece, they write about new ideas for the economy: 

An interview with Ted Howard, Co-Founder and President of the Democracy Collaborative, a Washington, D.C.-based ‘think-do tank’ that develops and promotes ideas for a more democratic economy. Howard is now an adviser to the Labour Party’s new Community Wealth Building Unit.

Read more in Renewal 

The return of public ownership

Thomas M. Hanna
Renewal

Thomas Hanna writes for Renewal "The return of public ownership." In this article, he writes about about his book on public ownership: 

Public ownership is back. And, in fact, outside the UK it never really went away – as a forthcoming book amply demonstrates. Democratised and decentralised forms of public ownership can and should be a component of the left’s vision for a new economic settlement.

Read more in Renewal

Editorial: The institutional turn: Labour’s new political economy

Joe Guinan and Martin O'Neill
Renewal

Joe Guinan and Martin O'Neill write for Renewal, "Editorial: The institutional turn: Labour’s new political economy ." In this editorial, they write about the Labour's leadership in the new economy:

The Labour leadership is putting together the elements of a new twenty-first century socialist political economy with a direct focus on ownership, control, democracy, and participation. Rolled out across the entire economy, it could displace traditional corporate and financial power in Britain.

Read more in Renewal 

Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe

Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier
Truthout

Democracy Collaborative staff, Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier, write in Truthout about "Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe." In this article, Bozuwa and Skandier write about the research started about nationalization and climate change: 

Editorial: Anchors aweigh on tackling the social determinants of health

Merrill Goozner
Modern Healthcare

Merrill Goozner writes in Modern Healthcare "Editorial: Anchors aweigh on tackling the social determinants of health." In this editorial, Goozner writes about the work of the Healthcare Anchor Network: 

Next week, a 2-year-old network of major healthcare systems dedicated to combating the social problems contributing to ill health in their own backyards will go public. They've chosen to highlight a San Francisco Bay Area food production center that will be up and running by the end of this year.

Located in Richmond, a working-class community that's two-thirds Hispanic and African-American, the center will employ about 200 people in what its sponsors promise will be living-wage jobs. Hospitals belonging to Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and the University of California at San Francisco will purchase fresh meals from the facility.

Organizers say this is just the start of a nationwide movement to use healthcare systems, often a community's largest employer and purchaser, as an "anchor" institution for local economic development. Three dozen major systems, which collectively represent 600 hospitals with over 1 million employees in more than 400 cities and towns, have already signed on to the Healthcare Anchor Network. They are pledging to use their hiring, purchasing and investment decisions to promote better-paying jobs.

It's a promising development in healthcare's evolving approach to population health. The core concept rests on the belief that achieving better health outcomes for the populations for which they're at risk financially will ultimately depend on improving the social conditions that spawned their diseases.

Read more in Modern Healthcare 

A Future For Homeownership

Jarrid Green
Other Words

Jarried Green writes in Other Words "A Future For Homeownership." In this article, Green writes about how community land trust and housing could save the American dream: 

At this point, it’s no secret that America has an affordable housing problem. Home ownership, long the staple of the “American Dream,” is increasingly a privilege enjoyed only by the wealthier and whiter.

For many young people, the opportunity their parents had to build stable wealth through home ownership seems like a cruel joke in today’s economy. There’s even a viral tweet: “Millennials. Walking around like they rent the place.”

But the housing situation in the U.S. is no laughing matter.

Read more at Other Words

A Trump Plan To Nationalize Coal Plants Could Be A Surprise Gift To Climate Hawks

Alexander C. Kaufman
Huffington Post

Alexander C. Kaufman writes in the Huffington Post "A Trump Plan To Nationalize Coal Plants Could Be A Surprise Gift To Climate Hawks." In this article, Kaufman quotes Thomas Hanna and the research by the Democracy Collaborative: 

All of this fortifies the argument that investors cannot reform fossil fuel producers quickly enough, making the case stronger for severe government intervention in the form of nationalization, said Thomas Hanna, director of research at the Democracy Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank.

“Time may simply have run out on other options that we may be considering now,” Hanna said. “If climate change is a crisis, which it will be in the future, all economic possibilities need to be on the table to deal with that, and that means taking over fossil fuel companies.”

Hanna and his team estimated that it would cost the government $1.15 trillion to buy the top 25 largest U.S.-based, publicly traded oil and gas companies as well as the roughly four major remaining publicly-traded coal producers. That may sound like a lot, but he argued that could cost less than $200 billion annually over six years, which is slightly over one-third of the military’s current annual budget.

Read more in Huffington Post 
 

Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think

Duncan Robinson
The Economist

Duncan Robinson writes in the Economists "Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think." Duncan highlights the leadership of TDC Fellow Mathew Brown in Preston, England:

Preston, in north-west England, is a laboratory for other aspects of Corbynomics. Under an agreement with the local council, large public institutions such as the university bias their procurement towards providers in the local area. For Matthew Brown, the councillor who started the scheme, it is about taking back control of public resources. “It democratises the capital,” he says. If elected to Downing Street, Labour would get the government to use its colossal procurement budget for policy goals, demanding that suppliers pay the living wage (a voluntary amount slightly higher than the statutory minimum wage) or cap bosses’ pay at 20 times that of the median worker, for instance."

Read more in the Economists