Community wealth building can seem tricky at first, especially during times where we seem more socially isolated than ever before. But bringing local people together via the power of the sharing economy, and carrying out small acts around your neighbourhood, you can really help to tip the balance!
Community Wealth is, put simply, is the collective assets of any community.
This can mean; intellectually, financially and culturally, amongst many other aspects that you might find in a community. Some examples of community wealth might include places in a village/town/city that are community-owned, such as community-owned housing, community-owned pubs/restaurants/bars and community-owned sports clubs.
In fact, as communities seek to become more independent, we're now seeing a rise in community-owned renewable energy recourses and community-owned banks.
Putting back into your community will not only benefit your neighbours, but it will eventually benefit you as well! By utilising locally sourced produce and products, for example, the money invested can then be ploughed back into your community, and thus, a framework of positive local spending is created!
Don't be mislead into thinking that Community Wealth is all about economic investment. A big part of contributing to any community comes in the form time and effort. For instance, the volunteer who visits the local care home once a week for a chat and a coffee with the residents, they're contributing to community wealth. The person who takes it upon themselves to coach the local football team every Sunday morning, they're contributing to community wealth. The school teacher who runs an after school club to teach extra lessons for struggling students; they're contributing to community wealth.
Your time is a currency of its own, when you invest it in your community, the rewards are endless : )
Top tip: Get started today by searching 'local community groups near me' and see how you can offer your services!
Building local wealth is a way for communities to practically offer answers from the 'bottom-up,' with resources provided and decisions made by local residents.
One course of action is, for example, examining items that are sourced from a greater distance and determining whether any actions may be taken to supply them more locally (such as purchasing goods from a co-operative of small local producers) could assist maintain money in the community.
Money creates more through the "multiplier effect" the longer it is in the local economy.
Engaging local businesses, citizens, and municipal officials in the development of their town can foster an entrepreneurial spirit and inspire people to take action (to increase local spending patterns). To strengthen their local economies and increase the profitability of each local firm, local businesses can be encouraged and supported to collaborate more successfully.
Supporting locally owned businesses is one of the key ways you can contribute to the growth of your local and regional economies.
How Do You Support Small Businesses Though?
You can help local companies create jobs, keep more money in your community's economy, and frequently get better service by supporting them. Local business owners are literally immersed in the community where they operate, making them more willing to give back by, for example, supporting local events, local charities and generally making the community a better place. Even more reason to shop locally!
Local businesses are also more likely to minimise their environmental impact and add to the genuine character of a location.
The local economy also depends heavily on small businesses and entrepreneurs. Finding investment capital is one of their main obstacles to achieving their goals and putting their ideas into action.
Crowdfunding, a non-traditional method of obtaining money for businesses that involve securing investments from a network of people, is one option available to business owners.
Do you wish there was a simpler way to connect with local service providers?
The HiKinjo app provides a peer-to-peer skills marketplace where people can outsource household chores and skilled tasks to neighbourhood residents and small businesses. When you download HiKinjo, you can search for an array of local entrepreneurs in your community; such as dog walkers near you, local babysitters, gardeners near you, cleaners in your area, homemade food delivery, or anything else you can think of!
By promoting opportunities for freelance workers, HiKinjo supports the development of the regional economy and therefore, community wealth building.
Local in-person exchanges are another method to have a beneficial impact on the environment and your community's economy. Citizens can save money and reduce their use of landfills by buying and selling second hand items...
The HiKinjo app facilitates neighbourhood commerce, connecting users with others in their local neighbourhood who are looking to buy, sell, trade, rent, or give away stuff, and allows you to give personalised reviews on local businesses
We can all work together towards building greater democratic ownership and control over businesses and jobs to benefit our communities. By rebuilding capital to support and strengthen locally held family and community enterprises that are rooted in situ and aren't relocating, it draws on local talents, institutions, and capacities. You can be the change your community needs to shape a decent, inclusive economic future that belongs to everyone!