Socially Responsible Business Archive


Sustainable, Socially Responsible Start-Ups: Your Guide to Creating a Successful Food-Based Business

Monday, June 24th, 2013

It’s not uncommon for desk-chained daydreamers to spend hours thinking of quitting their jobs and pursuing their real dreams—whether those dreams involve starting a small family farm, opening a bakery, or something else entirely. But to do this you need—among other things—money. Lack of access to start-up capital deters many would-be entrepreneurs from doing the things they really want to do.

It shouldn’t be so hard for socially responsible, sustainable businesses to get their work off the ground, but unfortunately that’s often the case. Small businesses face a significant economic disadvantage in the marketplace. “Put another way, our capital markets are like a Mob-run casino,” writes Michael Shuman in the Foreword, “with the dice loaded to provide a huge edge to global business and undercut community-based businesses.”

Enter Elizabeth U. In Raising Dough, U, a social finance expert and founder of Finance for Food, lays out what you need to start a successful, socially responsible, food-based business.

“Elizabeth U has created a formidable one-stop guide to the brass tacks of building a successful sustainable food business,” writes Anna Lappe, founder of Real Food Media Projects and author of Diet for a Hot Planet. “For everyone who’s ever wanted to turn their passion for sustainable food into a thriving business, this book is for you.”

Through case studies and personal expertise, U outlines the necessary tools and options every socially responsible entrepreneur needs to be aware of before starting a business, including:

  • Different types of crowd-funding;
  • Fundraising laws;
  • Grants and other available capital options;
  • What to look for in a business partner;
  • How to choose an appropriate model; and more.

“Chances are good that you’re reading this book because you’re a farmer or local food entrepreneur looking for money,” Shuman writes in the Foreword. “Or you might be an investor looking to place your money in a local food business. Or perhaps you’re just interested in learning about how to start a food business. Or maybe you’ve just heard that this is a tremendous resource for anyone interested in local investing. Whatever your mission, prepare for a feast ahead.”

Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business is available now and on sale for 35% off.

Read the Introduction below.

 

Raising Dough Introduction by Chelsea Green Publishing

How to Use Crowdfunding to Finance Your Sustainable Book Project

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

When Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton decided to write the essential book on natural building techniques, they knew who the publisher should be, and they knew the subject like the backs of their hands — but they were missing some key research that would help their book stand apart.

So, the two builders harnessed the power of the crowd, raised almost $3000, and the results of their research (how straw bale buildings perform energy-wise in cold climates) became a key component to the design and building processes detailed in The Natural Building Companion, published in 2012, and furthered the needed research into straw bale building designs in cold climates. They also identified where further testing and research should be directed.

Using Kickstarter to fund their research, “forced us to ingratiate ourselves to our community, which turned out to be great networking, and it was incredible to see how much people wanted to support our work,” said Racusin. “It compelled us to work on communicating about what we are doing and why. It required a lot of work, not an easy passive process, but was worth it at the end of the day.”

Racusin said the research itself was critical to the final book and “turned out to be one of the most legitimizing components to the book, and has opened many doors for us to present at conferences and engage in conversations with a much broader professional community.”

As evident with Racusin and McArleton, if harnessed properly, crowdfunding can be a powerful tool in the aspiring author’s kit. Reaching out to potential readers before the book is even underway allows you to begin the grassroots process of promotion—a step that often doesn’t occur until after a book is published. Crowdfunding also allows an author to activate that waiting audience, by keeping them apprised of the book as it’s being written, and possibly learn from readers about what the book should address. And because the crowdfunded book starts off as a community effort, it touches upon the notion of a gift economy, one based on relationships, place, and concern for the earth instead of mere profit margin.
Funders get gifts in return for their support, depending on how much they donate, but in many cases signing up as a funder isn’t any more complicated than pre-ordering a copy of the book.

Want to take part in this bottom-up financing revolution? Right now two of our authors are seeking community-based funding for exciting and necessary book projects. Sign up to help today and take a look at what you’ll receive in exchange for your help!Farming the Woods is a forthcoming book on agroforestry — or building edible forest gardens. The authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel are more than half way to their fundraising goal of $8000. Help them out before May 6th and you’ll receive:

  • A signed copy of the book for a $50 donation;
  • Give $100 and get a signed copy of the book plus free admission to an upcoming mushroom inoculation workshop in New York state (includes a mushroom log to take home);
  • Give $1000 and get all the gifts offered to smaller contributors, plus a day-long workshop on your property (and the authors will leave you with tons of ideas plus 100 inoculated shiitake logs)!

For more information, and to donate, go here, and check out this video about the project:

Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, and star of the Perennial Vegetables DVD, believes that tree crops are the key to fighting climate change, and he’s fundraising to write the book that proves it: Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices

  • Give $50 and receive a signed copy of the book plus Toensmeier’s collected articles from 2010-13;
  • Give $150 and get a copy of the book plus a “perennial staple crop sampler” of at least three different perennial staple crops, with recipes or instructions for consumption;
  • Give $500 and get a 30-minute phone consult about the garden or farm of your choice and a customized list of fifty useful plant species suited to your site.

Find out more about this exciting book and how to donate, here, and watch Eric’s video about the project:

If you’ve got an important project that needs a boost to get off the ground, crowdfunding might be your ticket to success. Give it a try!

We Need Slow Money…Fast. Come to the National Gathering!

Monday, April 1st, 2013

It’s clear: we need a new economy, one where wealth is based on the health of the soil, and the true well-being of people. Ever since the publication of Woody Tasch’s book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, Chelsea Green has been a prominent supporter of projects that push for a more-just way of doing business — and last year we even made the shift to employee ownership, ensuring our own legacy of financial independence and economic justice.

At the forefront of the movement to make a better economy a reality is Woody Tasch’s organization Slow Money, and later this month you can join the excitement at Slow Money’s 4th National Gathering in Boulder, Colorado, on April 29-30.

Looking for a new kind of social investing for the 21st century? If so, plan to join Slow Money’s emerging network of thought leaders, investors, donors, farmers, social entrepreneurs and everyday folks for two days of conversations, network building and action planning in a food-loving town. What could be better?

The event’s complete list of speakers is phenomenal, and includes several Chelsea Green authors, such as:

There will also be investment presentations from two dozen small food enterprises and break out sessions on topics ranging from New Visions of Corporate Philanthropy to Exploring Seeds and Biodiversity to Impact Investing, plus the opportunity to collaborate with folks from around the country who are finding new ways to connect money, culture and the soil—including members of the 16 chapters channeling millions of dollars into local small food enterprises.

The Slow Money National Gathering brings together people who are rebuilding local food systems across the U.S. and around the world. More than 2,000 people attended the first three national gatherings—with more than $22 million now invested in more than 185 small food enterprises!

Join this forward thinking group now. For details and to register, click here.

Chelsea Green will have a table set up, so stop by and say hello!

And stay tuned for our next great book on building a Slow economy, Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business. The author, Elizabeth Ü, will be at the Slow Money National Gathering as well. Here’s a preview of what the book’s about, in her own words:

Snapshots from the New Economy

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The top 400 wealthiest people in America own more riches than the bottom 180 million. The system is broken. But we don’t need to look far to find a better one.

Do you shop at a food co-op? Then you’re supporting a democratically-owned corporation that works to serve its members instead of distant shareholders focused merely on quarterly profits.

Do you bank at a credit union instead of a multinational corporate behemoth like Bank of America or Wells Fargo? Then you’re contributing your savings toward loans that go to help businesses, home owners, and people like you right in your community.

When you turn on the lights, does your power come from a municipally owned utility? If you live in Jacksonville, Florida, or Seattle, Washington it does. Now, what if you and your neighbors got together to demand your utility generate renewable energy? They’d have to listen, because you are their primary stakeholders.

Do you buy King Arthur Flour, rent cars from Avis, or buy books from Chelsea Green? If you do, you’re supporting companies that are owned by their employees, which means that the profits go to the workers — in other words to the people who make them possible.

Do you own a house through a community land trust — which made that house affordable, and will make sure it stays affordable when you decide to sell it. Or do you participate in a CSA or herd share that allows you to support a local farmer while making sure you get the fresh food you want? Or maybe when a restaurant or bookstore in your town threatened to go out of business you pitched in with some cash in return for discounts on your future purchases (the Slow Money model).

In Ohio, a state ravaged by the exodus of manufacturing, yet another example of a new-economy business model is starting up. The largest worker-owned greenhouse in the state is being financed by Evergreen Cooperatives, a unique partnership between public institutions, city government, and private nonprofits. The greenhouse will sell fresh produce to the hospitals and universities in the area, cutting the carbon footprint of those goods, and bringing good, green jobs to a neighborhood that needs them.

Gar Alperovitz is the founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a key partner in the project, and Gar has long been one of the leading champions of the worker-owned shift the economy so desperately needs. Next month his book What Then Must We Do? will explain how we must democratize wealth and build a community-sustaining economy from the ground up. Sustainable businesses are already changing lives and making money flow where it’s needed most. All we need is more of them.

These businesses define success as something deeper than profit. In doing so they’re living examples of what the new economy looks like. It’s not so complicated, it’s just what happens when business comes back down to earth.

(Illustration by Adrian J. Wallace)

Good Morning, Beautiful Business! The Memoir of a Social Entrepreneur

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

When Judy Wicks opened a restaurant in her Philadelphia home, she didn’t set out to change the world. But over the years she became not only a successful business woman but a game-changing activist, who, according to Inc. magazine enacted “more progressive business practices per square foot than any other entrepreneur.”

From pioneering the focus on local and humane foods in the White Dog Cafe, to laying down in front of a bulldozer to stop her block from being demolished by developers, Wicks let her heart lead her to find new ways of doing business. She went on to become a leader in the Social Venture Network, and from there spawned the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies when she realized that even “sustainable” business was following the old model of infinite growth. Organizations like Slow Money, Net Impact, Businesses for Social Responsibility, RSF Social Finance and more all grew out of the momentum Wicks helped sustain.

Now, in her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business, Judy Wicks shares lessons and insights from a life spent proving that business is the ideal driver for social change, and that community must be at the heart of local living economies. Judy says it best herself in the Preface, “Business, I learned, is about relationships. Money is simply a tool. What matters most are the relationships with everyone we buy from, sell to, and work with-and our relationships with Earth itself. My business was the way I expressed my love of life, and that’s made it a thing of beauty.” Continue reading the Preface below.

Good Morning, Beautiful Business is available now in both hardcover and paperback, and is 35% off this week.

“Once we say no to an immoral system, our next step is to build an alternative.” In this video, Judy describes how her mission developed, and how she became a food-economy pioneer.

Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and an early inspiration to Judy, says of the book, “Judy Wicks is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.  She continues to blaze new paths on the road to a truly sustainable people-centered economy. This is a must-read book.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer agrees. The paper just published this profile of Wicks, as well as a review of the book.

Good Morning, Beautiful Business: Preface by Chelsea Green Publishing

Slow Money Success Story: How Local Finance Helps Business Grow

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Recently, the environmental blog Treehugger featured a Slow Money success story from North Carolina.

Slow Money is a movement founded on the idea that our economy can no longer afford to ignore the health of the soil, the happiness of people, and the importance of a robust food system that’s feeds communities instead of producing commodities.

Chelsea Green was proud to publish Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, a rallying cry for the movement, back in 2008, and we’re always thrilled to spread the word about communities who are seeing the ethic of Slow produce big rewards. Author Woody Tasch has continued to grow Slow Money into a vibrant organization with fun, inspiring annual events, and we have continued to publish the work of people dedicated to the mission of bringing money back down to Earth.

Local Dollars, Local Sense, by Michael Shuman, is the most recent addition to the Slow Money bookshelf. Local Dollars was the first in our Community Resilience Guides series, a partnership with the Post Carbon Institute (learn more about the project at Resilience.org). You don’t have to choose between improving the financial health of your community and increasing the wealth in your portfolio. Shuman’s book shows you how to harness the power of local investments such as crowdfunding for new businesses, community buying clubs, local stock exchanges, and more.

The second guide in the series, Power from the People, showcases communities around the world that have planned, financed, and built renewable energy infrastructure — all by themselves.

Now, let’s pop on down to North Carolina and see what’s happening!

From Treehugger: How Slow Money Financing Helps Food Businesses Grow by Sami Grover

I once proposed the idea of Slow Business as a means to reclaim our lives. That meme never really took off, but Slow Money, on the other hand, has. A movement that facilitates direct loans between private individuals and sustainable food operations, Slow Money is becoming a powerful driver for grassroots business activism.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Carol Peppe Hewitt, a founder of the vibrant Slow Money movement here in North Carolina, as well as some of the business owners who have borrowed through Slow Money NC.

“When you run a small business for years, it’s like you see a snapshot of what is going on with the wider economy.”

That’s how Carol Peppe Hewitt describes her entry point into Slow Money.

She had been running a successful artisan pottery business with her husband Mark for decades, and observed how hard it was for small businesses to access affordable credit. This was particularly true within the local food movement – where farmers, small processors and producers were unable to get loans to start up or expand their business.

KEEP READING

Don’t Just Kick Back & Relax, Get Active: It’s Labor Day

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Happy Labor Day! We sincerely hope if you’re reading this, that it’s not at work, but at home, at rest or among friends, or doing something you love — fermenting food, making some cheese or working on a few home projects to boost your resiliency and reduce your ecological footprint.

Or, maybe you’re just grilling. Or, maybe there is still such a thing as a Labor Day parade in your community — one that actually celebrates workers.

In 1884, Congress passed a law making the first Monday of every September “Labor Day,” a day set aside to celebrate the social and economic achievements of the everyday worker, especially union workers. Workplace safety regulations? An eight-hour workday? Paid sick and vacation days? Weekends? Yeah, thank those early labor unions — not vulture capitalists, bankers or the 1 percent.

We at Chelsea Green have a lot to celebrate this labor day, and want to invite you to share in our good cheer.

As many of you know, in late June the company sold control of its stock to its employees by creating an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).  Essentially, that means that now close to 80 percent of the company’s stock is held by its employees. The remainder of the stock remains in the control of Ian and Margo Baldwin, who founded Chelsea Green in 1984 on the South Green in Chelsea, Vermont. Margo Baldwin is currently the company’s president and publisher and will maintain that role for the foreseeable future.

Around the same time as the ESOP was created. Chelsea Green was recognized by ForeWord Reviews as its 2011 Independent Publisher of the Year, in which the company was recognized for its “significant contributions in the categories of politics and sustainable living.” This year (to date) we’ve also landed our fourth book  on The New York Times bestseller list, with Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation landing at number 14.

This doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work from all us grasshoppers here at Chelsea Green.

Given the company’s long-term mission of publishing ideas to help communities remain resilient and businesses sustainable while connecting to their sense of place, making the move to an employee-owned model is an example of the company practicing what it publishes.

“Ian and I are thrilled that the company has taken this important step and look forward to working with our employees to advance the mission and to create an even more successful and profitable company in the years to come,” added Margo Baldwin. National studies have shown ESOPs to outperform their private sector counterparts in terms of overall profitability, productivity, employee retention and employee earnings.

To celebrate, we’re putting a handful of our key labor-focused and sustainable business and economic books on sale. They include Les Leopold’s fantastic biography of Tony Mazzocchi, a major figure in the modern labor movement and John Abrams’ inspirational book on workplace democracy and equality, Companies We Keep.

And, if these books aren’t of interest, check out the forthcoming books that will soon arrive in a bookstore near you (in fact, some may have already).

So, enjoy – and seriously, don’t work too hard. But, if you do, work toward this vision of Tony Mazzocchi’s as explained by his longtime friend and biographer Les Leopold:

“Tony’s big ideas led to Tony’s big actions—and both differentiated him from nearly every other modern labor leader. He built bridges from the often insular labor movement to all of the other major movements of his time—feminism, environmentalism, antiwar, civil rights. He was instrumental in building the occupational health and safety movement, the environmental health movement, and labor-environmental alliances, as well as in creating a new generation of worker-oriented occupational health professionals. Thousand of workers’ lives were spared as a result.

He was anti-corporate to the core. He thought that the drive for every-increasing profits was in fundamental conflict with public health, workers health and safety, and a sound environment. He feared that growing corporate power could lead to authoritarianism. The antidote was growing democratic unions with an active rank and file. Most of all, he thought we had it all backward: The purpose of life was not to toil until we dropped to enrich someone else. Rather it was to live life to its fullest by working less, not more.”

A wise man. Happy Labor Day.

SUGGESTED BOOKS

Meet the New Owners of Chelsea Green Publishing: The Employees!

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT — Independent book publisher Chelsea Green announced today that it has become an employee-owned company, with close to 80 percent of its stock to be held by its employees.

The move makes Chelsea Green unique among book publishers in an industry dominated by investor-driven, multinational corporations. Only a handful of independent book publishers can claim employee-ownership status, and of those Chelsea Green will be near the top in terms of the percentage controlled by employees.

The transaction, completed on June 29, allows a minority portion of the company’s privately held stock to be held by Ian and Margo Baldwin, who founded Chelsea Green in 1984 on the South Green in Chelsea, Vermont. Margo Baldwin is currently the company’s president and publisher and will maintain that role for the foreseeable future.

“Selling to our employees was the only way we could ensure the company could remain independent and stay in Vermont,” said Margo Baldwin. “The only one real way to repay investors, traditionally, is to sell. Our investors have been very patient over the years and this offered a way in which they could be repaid and allow Chelsea Green to continue its important role in the marketplace as an independent publisher.”

Chelsea Green was recently recognized by ForeWord Reviews as its 2011 Independent Publisher of the Year, in which the company was recognized for its “significant contributions in the categories of politics and sustainable living.” It also recently landed its fourth book  on The New York Times bestseller list, with Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation landing at number 14.

Given the company’s long-term mission of publishing ideas to help communities remain resilient and businesses sustainable while connecting to their sense of place, making the move to an employee-owned model is an example of the company practicing what it publishes.

“Ian and I are thrilled that the company has taken this important step and look forward to working with our employees to advance the mission and to create an even more successful and profitable company in the years to come,” added Margo Baldwin. National studies have shown ESOPs to outperform their private sector counterparts in terms of overall profitability, productivity, employee retention and employee earnings.

Chelsea Green joins a growing list of Vermont employee-owned companies, such as King Arthur Flour, Gardener’s Supply, PC Construction, and Carris Reels, among others.

Chelsea Green continues to buck the trend in the publishing industry in other ways — closing out yet another profitable year in 2011 with increased sales from the previous year. Unlike others in the industry, Chelsea Green has remained focused on publishing strong content that is valued by its readers—an active community that Chelsea Green is in continual engagement through the active use of social media and author appearances.

In 2012, so far, Chelsea Green has been adding staff in an effort to expand its digital offerings, and improve its existing online presence as well as provide greater outreach and publicity support for its authors.

Two Cheers for the JOBS Act – Michael Shuman Weighs In

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Originally published on The Huffington Post .

For nearly a century local investing has been essentially illegal, and Wall Street has monopolized all the investment options for the average investor. Thanks to the JOBS Act that President Barack Obama recently signed into law, local investing in job-creating small businesses is now legal.

Unfortunately, there has been a tremendous amount of misinformation spread about this Act, much of it by liberals I usually admire. They should be the people most eagerly embracing this bill for what it does — giving people a chance to revive Main Street economies across America.

Jim Hightower, for example, condemns the bill for “deregulating Wall Street.” In fact, the bill spells the end of Wall Street as we know it. It allows the 99% of us who are not wealthy (“unaccredited investors”) to put our money in the local businesses we love by removing what were once impossibly difficult and expensive legal hurdles. Those barriers were so targeted against small business and small investors that they resulted in almost none of our long-term savings — now totaling $30 trillion — being invested into the local half of our economy. The JOBS Act ends this misallocation of capital for good.

To me it’s ironic, and disappointing, that folks like Hightower, Robert Kuttner, and Eliot Spitzer were committed to the status quo and to maintaining Wall Street’s monopoly on capital. How could such great thinkers get this issue so wrong? Here are my top five reasons:

First, the critics misunderstand who promoted this bill. Kuttner, for example, blames Obama for being “always eager to curry favor with Wall Street donors…” Wall Street lobbyists played, at most a peripheral role, it was small business owners and “makers” like Woody Neiss and Paul Spinrad who led the charge. Innovative thinkers in the White House, like Doug Rand at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, played a pivotal role in shaping the president’s views about entrepreneurship. Non-Wall Street insiders like IndieGogo, a crowdfunding web site, and the nonprofit Sustainable Economies Law Center, pushed hard as well.

Second, the critics, who are justifiably skeptical of wholesale deregulation, don’t like to concede that any form of regulation has been a failure. But any honest assessment of the history of securities law would observe that we essentially regulated local finance out of existence while permitting Bernie Madoffs to operate freely. For decades, the SEC has held annual meetings where small business owners have urged reforms — modest deregulations that could open up capital to small companies, such as allowing small-dollar, local investments to be exempted from securities filings. The SEC never implemented any of those suggestions — even a recommendation that $100 investments be exempted.

Third, the critics have tremendously exagerrated the dangers of fraud. The casual reader of the liberal critiques might conclude that the sale of fraudulent securities is now legal, and that “boiler room” operations will be set up to bilk grandma of her life savings. Yet state and federal laws against securities fraud remain in effect. In fact, the JOBS Act adds a number of new provisions for preventing fraud, by requiring that crowdfunding offerings only be made through registered intermediaries.

Why, moreover, should anyone be banned from spending, investing, or donating a couple of hundred dollars any damn way they please? Every American, irrespective of income, is allowed to lose their life’s fortune on lotteries and casinos. Why not allow more reasonable risk tasking on building community economies? If grandma is not wealthy, the JOBS act limits her risk in any one business to the lesser of $2,000 or 5% her assets.

Fourth, the critics do not appreciate that there are other approaches to preventing fraud. E- bay has all but eliminated fraud through consumer and business evaluations of one another. So have other crowdfunding sites in the United Kingdom. In other words, the SEC’s premise — that the only way to prevent fraud is by banning unaccredited investors from making their own judgments — is flat out wrong.

Perhaps the critics’ most appalling misunderstanding is the fraudulence of the status quo. Every day the SEC allows investment advisers on AM radio to hawk the stock market, promising 10-20% annual returns, when in fact the returns — once inflation and compounding are taken out — are closer to 3%. These misrepresentations have convinced Americans that putting 100% of their savings into Fortune 500 companies is safer and provides a better return than investing in local business. In reality, the stock market is becoming an increasingly dangerous and unregulated casino where trades are done by computers that cause flash crashes when they malfunction. The JOBS Act will allow local businesses to begin to compete for a fair market share of investment dollars and provide returns that are equal to, if not slightly greater than, the true returns provided by Wall Street.

I agree, the bill is imperfect. I’m not thrilled with the deregulations of larger companies. And the bill legalizes all kinds of crowdfunding, local and nonlocal. But we can make it better. We should start educating the public about the importance of favoring local investment over abstract ones hundreds or thousands of miles away. Knowing the business in which one invests — knowing the products, the entrepreneur, the workforce, etc. — is the best way to prevent fraud.

It’s worth adding that after the bill was signed, 25 of the people who were most instrumental in passing the bill — none from Wall Street, by the way — got together to discuss ways we could create internal checks and balances on the marketplace, to improve quality control and help identify hucksters. I hope similar groups form in every community to create an honor roll of local businesses they know and trust — perhaps businesses that embrace open-book accounting — and that they then encourage residents to prioritize their crowdfunding.

Like it or not, Wall Street’s stranglehold on investment is over. We now have a new legal landscape that we can play a pivotal role in shaping. Everyone who cares about the vitality of Main Street needs to step up, not out.

Michael Shuman is the author of Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012) . He is research director at Cutting Edge Capital, and a fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. He attended the Rose Garden bill signing ceremony.

Strengthening Local Economies: Michael Shuman on Investing in Small Businesses

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Earlier this month Michael Shuman participated in a web event with Orion magazine, and explained the massive shift toward local investment that he outlines in his new book Local Dollars, Local Sense.

If you missed it, you can still listen to the whole thing on Orion‘s website, or on the newly launched Resilience.org, run by the Post Carbon Institute. Local Dollars, Local Sense is the first book in the Community Resilience Guide series, a joint effort of PCI and Chelsea Green, so stay tuned for the next books in the series!

Web Event Summary: Not even 1 percent of Americans’ long-term savings are invested locally, largely because it’s just not possible under the current system. But what would our towns look like if a larger fraction of this $30 trillion were in local economies? Local businesses account for half of the jobs and economic output in the U.S., so the effect could be important. During Orion‘s latest live web event, Michael Shuman, author of the new book Local Dollars, Local Sense, discussed innovative ways that citizens can improve their local economies while growing their own bank accounts.

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