Crowdfunding: Community Sourced Capital
What better way to strengthen communities, while empowering regular people to support nearby small businesses, than by helping individuals fund local entrepreneurs?
This movement—coined locavesting by author Amy Cortese in a recent book–is at the core of a Seattle-based social enterprise by the name of Community Sourced Capital (CSC); it has a crowdfunding platform through which people make loans to local enterprises, thereby forging stronger ties between community residents and businesses.
“This is about more than a loan. It’s also a catalyst for community engagement,” says co-founder and president Casey Dilloway. “We’ve tried to create something people can get engaged with very quickly, while providing money to businesses within their community.”
Started by four graduates of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the first business school to offer an MBA in sustainable business, the system works this way: Lenders can make interest-free loans–not donations–of up to $250, in $50 increments. The total loan can be up to $50,000. Lenders receive a pale-blue card, identifying them as squareholders ( as opposed to shareholders, in case you didn’t get it). They generally can expect to be paid back in monthly installments over two to five years.