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”
Last week, Casey and I returned to our Alma Mater, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, to talk about Community Sourced Capital with about 20 MBA Students studying Local Living Economies in a class taught by sustainable finance expert Stuart Cowan. Continue reading “Generative design and local living economies”
Last June the CSC Team mused on meaning and finance when on the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Check out the video we shot on our phone and get to know us a little better.
I had a dream last night where I was visiting with students in a college finance class. It was casual conversation about careers and post-graduation plans until I saw a prompt on the whiteboard. It was a chance to enter an essay contest. In 50 words or less, alumni had to answer the essay question, whereas undergrad students could take as much room as they like.
I should pause here to clarify that yes, I do in fact have dreams this vivid. So, here was the question I created in my dream:
If our entire financial system was competing in the Olympics, who would win the bronze?
I immediately started overhearing students discussing how AA versus AAA rated bonds are ranked. “Which one is better, again?” they asked each other. The girl at my table asked me to review what she wrote, but I had to write my response first. This is what I wrote:
As with most competitions, the winners and losers are determined by the judges. What Olympic competition are we talking about? Who are the judges? What are the metrics being used to evaluate the contestants? How might the rules of the game evolve over time to challenge future contestants?
I guess in my dream, I found it more valuable to throw questions back at the judges with which to score other essays, than for me to try and win the contest myself. Or maybe I just didn’t have the right answer ready. Either way, I’m sure I snuck my essay at the top of the pile so the judges of this competition might read my rebuttal before scoring the rest of the entries.
Think about the different Olympic competitions and what we expect from each one. Gymnastics: grace and perfection. Diving: form and execution. Running: speed and speed alone. The undisputed, most important element in each of these competitions: heart. The heart of the contestants is the determining factor in every competition. It has no official line on the rubric, but it absolutely shows up in every evaluated element.
What is the heart of the financial system you know? What is the heart of the financial system you want to know?
Go ahead and try this quick exercise. Write down the two or three variables you would consider while evaluating some financial system that your money is circulating through. It could be your checking account or your 401(k). How does heart show up in these financial systems? How might the lack or presence of heart in these systems affect the future of your finances?
Your money is in the middle of a worldwide competition, much like the Olympics. In which ways might instilling heart in this competition help guide contestants to a more likely and deserved victory?
And the best news: the rules of this race are still being determined. At the end of the day, we each get to decide what winning looks like.
Casey Dilloway is a co-founder of Community Sourced Capital. He took several finance classes in his undergraduate business education, but didn’t really fall in love with its potential until studying it for his Sustainable MBA at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. You can follow Casey on twitter at @CaseyJD.
We created a funding platform for everyday citizens to lend directly to strong local businesses that they know. We’re starting with small businesses because its no secret that they’re responsible for the bulk of jobs created in this country, and banks are not lending to small businesses like they used to.
At the same time, experts agree that small businesses are the keystone to resilient regional economies…economies that don’t crumble when a single manufacturer leaves town or when a national housing crisis triggers the loss of 9 million jobs. We can use our money to fund a stronger world than that. Community Sourced Capital gives you the power to fund the world you want to live in.
It all starts with a square.
- Squares represent loans to businesses.
- Squares are $100 and anyone can buy one.
- Funding a $20,000 project means selling 200 squares.
Here’s how it works: CSC hosts a business, their story and their funding project on our website. Over time, the business builds rapport with their community through an ongoing marketing campaign to their community that identifies future lenders. Then we contact the business and say “Hey, guess what! You just had your 200th supporter sign on to lend you $100. Now you have access to $20,000 in community sourced capital. Ready to hit go?” The funding round ensues, money is transferred, and then the repayment begins. If you are a community member who wants to join the movement to localize finance, sign up for updates. If you have questions or comments please contact Rachel@communitysourcedcapital.com.
We’d love for you to join the crowd at the Fledge Demo Day on September 23rd at the Intiman Theater. We’ll be presenting with six other conscious companies.
Locally owned small businesses are the life blood of our communities. They constitute approximately one-half of the U.S. private economy in terms of output and jobs, and provide us with goods and services to meet our needs. Fortunately the “buy local” movement is gaining momentum. Cash mobs spend their money at local retailers and farmers markets are growing by leaps and bounds. However, this is only one side of the coin (pun intended) for small business capital needs.
Yep, we need to purchase local goods and services, but community businesses also need investment capital to grow and succeed. Small businesses receive almost no investment from traditional capital markets, such as mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds, or venture funds. On top of this, bank lending is at an all time low for small businesses, leaving them with few options to meet their capital needs.
Fortunately these businesses have YOU and ME, which equals US!
WE all have our favorite local businesses, whether they be the corner coffee shop, farm-to-table restaurant, mom and pop hardware store where someone is always there to help you find just what you need. They’re the businesses that make our economy go ’round. With CSC we can now take our support for our beloved community businesses one step further and directly invest in their success, to fund the world WE want to live in.