Topics Under Category: "Prototype"

Five Cities Will Test New Muni Bond Crowdfunding Platform

Amy Cortese | October 13, 2016

Music venues, affordable housing, fire trucks and public parks. These are some of the first public works that will be funded on Neighborly, a new funding platform that combines crowdfunding and municipal finance. San Francisco-based Neighborly began its life as a civic crowdfunding platform, but two years ago shifted its focus to the multi-trillion dollar […]

Chicago Looks to Social Enterprise to Address Urban Challenges

Anne Field | July 11, 2016

Chicago has more than its fair share of urban woes. Cook County, a county of more than 5.2 million of which Chicago is the county seat, has a poverty rate of 17%. It is plagued by violence and crime. And the county suffered the biggest population decline last year of any county in the U.S. […]

Spurring Rural Entrepreneurship: 8 Innovative Business Models That Don’t Break The Bank

Becky McCray | June 3, 2016

Starting a business in a small town or rural place isn’t easy. Financing can be a major roadblock. In some small towns, local banks may not support unproven business owners. In other towns, the formerly-local banks are now owned by out-of-town conglomerates with far-away loan approval committees. In still other rural places, there simply aren’t […]

Reimagining B-School: At Etsy.org, Love & Community Top the Syllabus

Amy Cortese | March 31, 2016

Since its founding in 2005, Etsy has helped lead a revival in crafts and DIY culture, providing an alternative to soulless, mass manufactured goods. When the company, a B Corp., went public in 2015, it used some of the proceeds to endow a separate foundation, Etsy.org, to further its mission of “re-imagining commerce.” As the […]

Social Impact Bonds: Something Republicans And Democrats Agree On

Anne Field | March 3, 2016

Democrats and Republicans don’t seem to agree on much in this fractious campaign season. The exception may be Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), an innovative new financing model that is being welcomed with a warm bipartisan embrace. Also known as pay for success, SIBs are a new mechanism for financing initiatives aimed at addressing social ills, […]

BDCs: An Untapped Tool for Local Investing?

Michael Sauvante | February 15, 2016

Take a look at this Presidential signing statement: “This new law will facilitate the financing of small businesses by providing needed reform of the Federal securities laws. Small businesses are essential to economic growth and to innovation. No effort is more difficult for small businesses or more crucial to their success than raising investment capital. This […]

Social Impact Fashion Comes to Main Street

Anne Field | February 8, 2016

In 2012, Alok Appadurai and Jade Beall, co-owners of a yoga and arts studio in Tucson, Arizona, began designing and selling t-shirts and donating a portion of each sale to local nonprofits that feed the hungry. Little did they know where that simple idea would take them. As they learned more about the fashion industry, […]

Michael Shuman on Pollinators, Social Enterprise and Remaking Economic Development

Amy Cortese | January 9, 2016

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and one of the world’s leading experts on community economics. (He is not, however, a famous rock drummer).  His eighth book, (we think, we’ve lost count) The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative Self-Financing “Pollinator” Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity, takes on the economic development profession […]

The New Economic Development: Tackling Inequality by Building Community Wealth

Anne Field | September 3, 2015

Inequality is one of the defining issues of our times, and many economic development efforts aim to address that challenge. Yet, too often, these top-down efforts fall short of truly lifting up and empowering disenfranchised communities.  And many communities don’t have the necessary capacity to create change on their own. How do you go about […]