Our first dive into Socially Responsible Investing

And when we say “our first dive”, we really mean “our first dive with you,” because we haven’t yet spoken about the role socially responsible investing plays in sustainable finance. Continue reading “Our first dive into Socially Responsible Investing”

Six months in, and we’re just getting started

Just six short months ago, our little company Community Sourced Capital was born with the purpose of changing the way society thinks about finance. It’s a unique challenge to change how we think about finance, especially if most of us aren’t thinking about it in the first place. That is, unless finance is bad to us. Then we think about it all the time.

We believe finance can be good. It can be good to people and it can be good to businesses. Like when finance enables 113 people to fund a $12,000 loan for an organic cranberry farm. Examples like this demonstrate the potential for finance to embody the qualities that form our generally accepted definitions of “good” like “community” or “sharing” or “love”.

And here’s the “good” news: because money is a human invention, the purpose it carries is ours to invent as well.

Here at CSC, we’re six months into giving money a purpose in our local economies. This is where we’re at:

2 funded campaigns raised $15,000 in loans for community business

Lots more campaigns in the pipeline

6 incredible team members

150+ card-carrying Squareholders

750+ friends (seriously) helping us achieve our vision

We love doing what we do. We spend each day meeting with incredible business owners bringing remarkable products and services to their communities. We identify their financial goals, tell their story, and then help them find purposeful money to finance the next iteration of their business.

So far, we’re a small drop in an enormous bucket. But here’s the “good” news: that bucket—that pesky financial one our society rarely talks about in a positive way—happens to hold remarkable possibility for creating the world we want to live in. Everyone reading this article holds a handful of water from that bucket and all the potential in the world to do something amazing with it.

Cheers to another six months of funding the world we want to live in.

Realities of modern lending remind us what we’re working on

A recent article from Inc. Magazine is reminding us what we’re working for: a better financial ecosystem for small business. The article describes the negative relationships between banks and some small business owners following the financial crisis.

When it comes to the future of small business in America, it’s easy to say that “small business is important to our economy” and leave it at that, but we should really take it a step further. We’ve learned from our economy over the last few years that strong, local economies will require networks of many strong, small businesses.

This is not to say that big business is bad or has no place in our future. It’s just to say that we’ve done a great job supporting big business for a while now, and it’s probably time to focus some more energy on our friends at the “small” end of the business spectrum.

Back to the article– author Burt Helm draws examples of successful small businesses being dumped by big banks because of their industry, major trends in big bank density across the banking landscape, and it asks what might change to fix the whole system.

My own understanding of systems suggest that this current dominant system probably won’t change anytime soon. It’s too big to move, too big to adapt, too big to… well, you get it.

Instead, we can focus on introducing new financial systems that make the entire ecosystem more sustainable. At Community Sourced Capital, we believe these systems will (and should) more heavily involve large groups of people (read: communities) in decision making, and ultimately, in an ongoing education about how our financial system works in the first place.

All this said, I think it’s important to specify when you might see exactly what we’re talking about at CSC . We’re designing and testing sustainable financial solutions, and that process requires lots of care and patience. The last thing we want to do is scale half-baked solutions that end up harming small businesses, or worse, the local economies we’re trying to strengthen.

If sustainable finance, design and collaboration piques your interest like it does ours, then I strongly encourage you to read through this article. Then, consider taking our short survey on small business lending in your own community.

Re-imagining our relationship with money

Imagine this: 20 people sitting around in a circle talking about money. It wasn’t bankruptcy counseling. It wasn’t a fundraising meeting. It wasn’t even a investment club. It was just 20 people, sitting in a circle, talking about their personal relationship with money. Continue reading “Re-imagining our relationship with money”

Pitching sustainable finance to a few hundred

Just last weekend, co-founders Rachel Maxwell and Casey Dilloway pitched Community Sourced Capital to a few hundred friends, family members, social entrepreneurs and investors as part of Fledge Demo Day in Seattle. Fledge is the “conscious company” incubator that CSC has been working with for the last few weeks.

Continue reading “Pitching sustainable finance to a few hundred”

We’re a Social Purpose Corporation, and yes, we want you to know about it

When we started Community Sourced Capital, we knew we wanted to signal to communities that we aren’t your average company with average solutions. After all, we’re transforming centuries worth of traditional finance principles to re-focus on building strong local economies. Continue reading “We’re a Social Purpose Corporation, and yes, we want you to know about it”