What if our economy actually served people and the planet, and built stronger communities? Instead of extracting resources, what if businesses built local wealth and resilience while regenerating ecosystems? And what if we create enterprises that provide good jobs, reduce income inequality, and lower our carbon footprint?
The Transition US REconomy Project seeks to explore these three questions and develop strategies to bring these economic ideals to life.
Join us to learn from some of the incredible businesses featured in our new REconomy Report "25 Enterprises that Build Resilience": Lopez Community Land Trust and the Local Investing Opportunities Network.
Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) is not only addressing the affordable housing shortage on Lopez Island, Washington, but also serving as a model for ecological land stewardship. The non-profit trust owns the land, and homeowners purchase shares in the housing cooperative through a combination of sweat equity (building their own homes) and cash. To ensure housing remains affordable for future buyers, cooperative members cannot sell their shares above a specified cap. LCLT is unique among community land trusts because of its commitment to sustainable agriculture and green building, including use of straw bale construction, rainwater catchment, solar hot water, and more.
A Local Investing Opportunities Network is a loosely organized network of citizens who support local businesses and invest their money locally. LIONs create opportunities for local businesses and investors to network and develop relationships. Businesses submit summaries of their business opportunities to LION, which are distributed to its members. Interested members then follow up personally with the submitter. If a relationship and mutual interest develops, an investment may be made. Building on prior efforts, the first LION was founded in 2008 as a project of Local 20/20, a Transition Initiative in Port Townsend, Washington. Through 2012, its 70+ members invested over $3 million in loans and equity in 37 local businesses and nonprofits, and it continues to be active. Recipients of investment range from single-employee operations to businesses employing 25 or more people, in sectors such as small manufacturing, food, retail, services, and nonprofits.
And if you're inspired to start your own local REconomy Project or resilience-building business, apply to join our REconomy Cohort to receive access to peer support and other resources to help you get started!