Cooperative Financial Institutions

Financial institutions owned and controlled by their members.

The Boston Ujima Project is empowering residents in underserved communities in Boston, to fund and invest in the businesses they want to support in their neighborhoods. Founders, friends, and members of the project explain the impetus behind the project and how they see it as paving the way for community control in increasingly oppressive times.

 

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Though the numbers aren’t yet in, 2016 appears to have been a banner year for progressive non-profits, particularly in the wake of the presidential election. Many celebrities, artists, and other influencers publicly supported organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, and pledged portions of their profits to these organizations. Some of the United States’ best-known non-profits raised massive amounts of money in a matter of days as a result of this desire for solidarity.

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Our “Stand with Standing Rock” at Cooperative Federal Credit Union isn’t our first social and economic justice action.  Not by far -- that would be the defunding of South African Apartheid institutionalized racism and segregation i

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[Editor's note: below are video profiles of three worker cooperatives.  Each of these cooperatives have benefited from Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF) loans. LEAF’s mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people.

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[Editor's note: Below are three interviews from CommonBound 2016, held in Buffalo, NY earlier this year.  Interviewers Laura Flanders and Esteban Kelly talk with three women who are working to build financial and economic structures that empower people and communities.  Click here for more videos from the conference.  CommonBound is a project of the New Economy Coalition (NEC), a network of 150-plus organizations including PeoplesAction, 350.org, and the U.S.

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In this video Brendan Martin, Founder and President of The Working World, talks about the origins of the financial industry and how we can build a better future with a financial "commons".

More videos by Fund for Democratic Communities

 

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Background

This report is part of an ongoing process of documenting and making public the research that has informed the organizing of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC), a cross-sectoral organization incubated by SolidarityNYC.

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

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[Editor's note: The Bangla-Pesa recently celebrated over two years in operation.  Below are two videos that describe how this complimentary currency system works and how it has helped business owners in Bangladesh, Kenya to operate more efficiently by providing an alternative to the national currency that is in chronically short supply in impoverished areas like Bangladesh.]

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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cross-posted from matslats.net

Having kept an eye on the altcoins for a good while I wasn't initially impressed by the claims of Faircoin.

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[Editor's note: this webinar, organized by Project Equity and the Democracy Collaborative, includes presentations from worker-owners at Namaste Solar and Mariposa Gardening and Design, as well as co-op developers from The Cooperative Development Institute and the Democracy Col

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[Editor's note: GEO first published these two essays on the hurdles faced by coopeative and solidarity economy enterprises in 2001.  While the cooperative movement has made great strides in the intervening 14 years, the roadblocks identified here by the authors are still concerns for both new and existing co-ops.  In light of the recent surge in support that cooperatives of all kinds hav

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[Editor's note: these two documents from Croatia's EBank (English translation) lay out an alternative type of financial institution for solidarity economy projects and enterprises.  While utilizing an ownership structure similar to a credit union (all customers are owne

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