BUILDING COMMUNITY WEALTH
BUILDING COMMUNITY WEALTH
Community wealth building is a people-centred approach to economic development, which redirects wealth back into the local economy, placing ownership, control and benefits into the hands of local people and organizations*
Guiding Principles of Community Wealth Building**
Empower local people and places
Increase local ownership
Increase local prosperity and opportunities
Make financial power work for local places
Anchor business and jobs to place
Strengthen regions, towns and local community
*This definition is adapted from The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES).
**These principles are adapted from Ethical Fields.
Community Ownership Matters
Community ownership ensures that assets and businesses stay in community, for the benefit of community. Local ownership has many benefits including:
- Recirculating more revenue in the local economy
- Producing more jobs and more revenue
- Donating more per dollar of revenue to local charities
- Owners are more likely to spend their revenue on local products & services
Why a Community-Owned Entity?
- Many communities are facing a small business succession wave, placing core community businesses at risk of being purchased by distant entities or closure.
- Non-profits and community organizations provide core services yet are struggling for resources. A community-owned entity can provide an additional source of revenue.
- A community-owned entity will acquire and operate community-based enterprises with employment, supply chains and profits benefiting the wider community.
Reviving Local Economies and Building Community Wealth: Community Business “Trust” Model
In 2019, Royal Roads University (RRU) and Scale Institute partnered to research and develop a community business “trust” model able to acquire multiple businesses at risk of closure due to lack of succession plan or privatization. Currently in development, this model works to shift ownership of succession-ready businesses and assets to locally governed entities, in order to redistribute profits back into communities.
TIMELINE OF INITIATIVE
Based on personal experiences of acquiring and operating social enterprises, Scale Institute leadership decided to explore a community wealth building model. Partnered with Royal Roads University to research and develop a community wealth building model.
Gathered an Advisory Group to help design a prototype.
Research, case studies and educational collateral development on social enterprise acquisition.
Governance and policy research, financial model development and community engagement.