I was fortunate enough to receive a Community Capital Sponsorship from RSF Social Finance for the annual conference that is being held in Grand Rapids Michigan this week. I am especially looking forward to the workshop on indicators for measuring local economies, as well as listening in on some of the case studies for funding entrepreneurial businesses.
If you have not heard of BALLE, it’s high time:
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE, is North America’s fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks in 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces representing over 22,000 independent business members across the U.S. and Canada.
BALLE believes that local, independent businesses are among our most potent change agents, uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century with an agility, sense of place, and relationship-based approach others lack. They are more than employers and profit-makers; they are neighbors, community builders and the starting point for social innovation, aligning commerce with the common good and bringing transparency, accountability, and a caring human face to the marketplace.
BALLE’s mission is to catalyze, strengthen and connect networks of locally owned independent businesses dedicated to building strong Local Living Economies.
In late 2001, BALLE was officially launched with Laury and Judy as founding co-chairs and Michael Shuman and David Korten on the first board of advisors. Under Laury’s leadership, BALLE eventually spun off from SVN to become its own nonprofit organization, and held its first national conference in Portland, Oregon, in 2003. Since then BALLE has grown to include more than 80 other local business networks encompassing over 22,000 entrepreneurs in the US and Canada.
BALLE is a 501c3 non-profit organization.