Capital is at the heart of the modern economy, and any efforts to create a more just world must redirect capital flow, particularly to groups and communities that have been systematically overlooked or denied. Fortunately, new financial tools allow communities to have the power to self-determine their futures like never before and redirect capital to projects that better reflect their identities and our shared vision for the new economy. Nearly $50 million was raised through Regulation Crowdfunding in 2017—and women and people of color had higher than average success rates. Investment funds earmarked for local, sustainable, and businesses owned by people of color are cropping up, and real estate investment funds are helping to revitalize and preserve communities across the country. These community-led tools are a grassroots complement to, and can work in concert with, institutional funding such as CDFIs and community foundations. In addition to redirecting capital, community capital can redirect profits to build wealth in communities.
This track will provide attendees—whether civic leaders, local entrepreneurs, or investors—with information about the tools available today to create more equitable and resilient local economies and the knowledge necessary to leverage them to re-shape their local economies. We will present an overview of available funding methods and their potential impact, case studies, and expert advice on how to enact them in your community. We will also provide participants with resources that they can follow up on from home to learn more about the practical nuts and bolts of community finance and put it into action.