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

2019
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.

2020
Gathered an Advisory Group to help design a prototype.

2021
Research, case studies and educational collateral development on social enterprise acquisition.

2022
Governance and policy research, financial model development and community engagement.

2023
Business plan and financial model Community Ownership paper and speakers series.

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OWNERSHIP MATTERS WEBINAR SERIES

Owners Matters: Introduction to Community Ownership and Wealth Building

Introductory session on community ownership and wealth building. What is community wealth? How do we build community wealth and why is ownership a critical part of community wealth building?

Ownership Matters: Ownership’s Role In Addressing Social Inequities

This session explores the ways that community ownership can be focused on addressing long standing social inequities. Speakers share approaches that intentionally disburse wealth and build prosperity for individuals and communities that have been and continue to be excluded from mainstream economic benefits.

Owners Matters: Financing Community Ownership

This session explores innovative approaches to financing community ownership in Canada and beyond. Learn from impact investors and field builders who are paying attention to who is ultimately benefiting from ownership of their investments and who are seeking to shift large amounts of investment toward community-owned assets.

Ownership Matters: Public Policies for Scaling Community Ownership

This session explores policies that are needed to drive community ownership at scale, drawing on the experiences of global leaders in Community Wealth Building. Participants were invited to reflect on government action across all levels of government that is needed to support community ownership at scale in the Canadian context.

OWNERSHIP MATTERS WEBINAR SERIES

Ownership Matters: Introduction to Community Ownership and Wealth Building
Ownership Matters: Ownership’s Role In Addressing Social Inequities
Ownership Matters: Financing Community Ownership
Ownership Matters: Public Policies for Scaling Community Ownership

COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING RESOURCES

New Models for Community Shareholding Cover Page

PARTNERS AND FUNDERS

This project is a partnership between Royal Roads University and Scale Institute.

We are thankful for funding support from:

Government of British Columba