The Australian Quest for Neighborhood Investment Funds
I’ve just returned from a ten-day, seventeen-event whirlwind tour of Australia. My mission was to share what we’ve learned about building local investment ecosystems in the United States. And I now return with an inspiring tale of local investment that spans the entire country of Australia.
My second stop on the tour was Newcastle, a coastal city aiming to reboot its image from Australia’s biggest coal exporter into a paragon of sustainability. Today, Newcastle is one of twenty Australian cities now working with a savvy nonprofit called Ethical Fields to “mine” securities law and uncover promising designs of low-cost investment funds that can facilitate local, “place-based” investment. (This “mining operation” resembles the National Coalition for Community Capital’s procss of creating a Diversified Community Investment Fund in the United States, which we covered in an earlier issue, here.)
Our first article from Ethical Fields explains their important work. To shift from an “extractive model” of capital to one that is “regenerative, equitable, locally aligned, long-term and secure,” the group plans to explore “the learnings and challenges of others that have tried to establish local capital and investment vehicles alone.” It will use collaboration and aggregation with other regions across Australia to achieve larger economies of scale and expand local investment more quickly.
One option Ethical Fields is contemplating is to create a big national fund, with dozens of local offices connecting local investors and local projects. This design, which would bring down legal and administrative costs, is similar to the one used for many years by RSF Social Finance and the Calvert Foundation’s Community Investment Notes.
You will also find in this issue: a summary of an interview with Tawana Rivers, CEO of the Ten-K Project, which supports black founders via investment crowdfunding; a new interactive map created by the East New York Community Land Trust that reveals how nearly 150 large parking lots owned by the NYPD are sitting virtually unused and could be transformed into housing for tens of thousands of New Yorkers; and a wonderful article from the Daily Yonder introducing local investment to share with at your next big family picnic.
— Michael H. Shuman, Publisher
Building Place-Based Capital Across Australia, Ethical Fields (May 10)
The Power of Investment Crowdfunding for the Black Community: An Interview with Tawana Rivers, Devin Thorpe’s Substack (May 5).
New Yorkers Need Land. The NYPD Is Sitting On Nearly 150 Lots., Shelterforce (May 10)
If We Want A Stronger Local Economy, Why Do We Invest In Wall Street?, The Daily Yonder (May 4)
Spotlight: East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Natural Investments (May 2023)
National Gathering Looks To Address Root Causes Of Inequality, Nonprofit Quarterly (May 10)
How Perpetual Purpose Trusts Can Preserve Your Mission, The Kassan Group (May 9)
11th International Public Markets Conference – In-Person Conference (Toronto, Canada). June 8-10, 2023. Bringing together visionary market managers, community advocates, and civic leaders to explore the changing forces that are shaping public markets today. Register here.
Increase Your Advocacy Capacity With ILSR - Virtual Event. May 25, 2023. Featuring Lauren Gellatly, the Institute of Local Self-Reliance’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, and Amanda Converse, Love Live Local's Executive Director. Register here.
Succession Planning For Women-Owned Businesses: Paving The Way For Long-Term Success - Virtual Event. May 31, 2023. Event with two key speakers specializing in business valuation, succession planning, retirement planning and asset management; and assessing, supporting and structuring employee ownership transitions. Register here.
Neighborhood Economics - In-Person Event. February 26-28, 2024. Event facilitating ongoing conversations across geographies that help people build economic architecture so everyone will thrive. Use code ATTENDEE to get a discounted rate of $325 (refundable through February 1, 2024), for only the next ten days. Register here.
How Private Equity Brought Envision Healthcare Into Bankruptcy , The American Prospect (May 12)
JPMorgan Chase Is The Big Winner From First Republic Bank’s Failure, Jacobin (May 12)
Vermont Community Loan Fund is hiring a Director of Housing and Community Facilities Programs
Project Equity is hiring a Business Engagement and Partnerships - Outbound Manager, a Regional Engagement Program Manager - California, and a Financial Analyst
Mission Driven Finance is hiring for multiple positions
FREE SHORT VIDEOS ON LOCAL INVESTMENT
If you want to short answers to your most pressing questions about local investment, we have prepared a series of 5-10 minute videos. You can find them posted on our website under the “Local Investing Videos” page. Or click on the links below to be directed to videos based on the topic:
BECOME A MAIN STREET CHAMPION
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About The Main Street Journal
The Main Street Journal aims to catalyze the movement of $50 trillion from Wall Street to Main Street to facilitate economic development and economic justice. It’s sponsored by the National Coalition for Community Capital, with a grant from the Heron Foundation. We welcome feedback about everything, from our design to content. And we welcome suggestions of other groups to involve as partners, and other information to include. Please send ideas to Melea Huon-Dumentat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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