Are YOU The Next BALLE Fellow?

Even if you missed the webinar, there are still many ways to learn more about this excellent organization and this opportunity.

FREE Webinar!  
BALLE Local Economy Fellowship Info Session
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 10am PDT/1pm EST

BALLE FellowshipThe search for the 2014-2015 BALLE Local Economy Fellows has officially begun!  Join Christine Ageton and Leanne Krueger-Braneky, BALLE Directors of Fellowship and Alumni, to learn about the only Fellowship program dedicated solely to advancing the local economy movement and how YOU can become the next BALLE Local Economy Fellow.  Deadline for applications is December 15, 2013.  Read More

Where other programs focus on individual social entrepreneurs trying to scale single enterprises, the BALLE Fellowship focuses on local economy connectors – people who each represent, convene, and influence communities of hundreds of community entrepreneurs. This is an incredible opportunity for top innovators to connect with their peers, strengthen their capacity for transformative personal and community change, and help reshape local economies across North America. 

To get the most of out this webinar, please review information on the Fellowship, watch this brief video, and download your application prior to the session.  

Topics covered include:

  • Why the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is so unique;
  • Common criteria for applicants and the application process;
  • Stories of community impact from our Alumni and existing Fellows;
  • Time for Q&A



Local First Webinar Series | BALLE – Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

BALLE is one of my go-to organizations, partly because their deep reservoirs of knowledge come from localized economy leaders, rather than some academic institution or a centralized big-city NGO. Therefore, their knowledge and growth seems to be thoughtful and they advance real ideas. Their webinars are done well and the next two focus on local procurement in government contracts.

Local First Webinar Series | BALLE – Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

Community Supported Enterprises

Just attended a very useful workshop on Community Supported Enterprises, a model for investments for local businesses.I’ll leave my questions to the end after I give you some details…
3 examples were profiled:
Claire’s Restaurant, Hardwick Vermont is a LLC (actually 2 LLCs) that has 3 groups involved: investors in the real estate group, owner/managers (3 people) and 50 subscribers/lenders.

The one owner raised money by knocking on doors and reaching out to her network, since she was the only long-time Vermonter among the (3) owners.
She found investors who invested in the real estate group which owns the lease (and subleases to the restaurant) and the equipment. Their investment is very long-term and they were told that at the beginning. If the restaurant fails, they can get someone to take over the new lease.
The subscribers/lenders gave 1000.00 each to the restaurant itself and get their money back in increments of 25.00 in 10 months of the year over 4 years at the restaurant. The subscribers can transfer ownership of their subscription and family can use the subscription. There is no cash out provision. Since the restaurant does not own the equipment, it does not have major debt.

The Community Store, Saranac Lake NY
Is a C-corporation and has a board of directors of 7 and 3 full-time staff. Issued stock at 100 each to NY residents, goal was to raise 500,000, which took 5 years to do.
Shares can be transferred to out of state holders after 9 months. Since there is no majority stockholder, there is little chance for formal financing.
They ended the offer with 750 investors, mostly by asking their early shareholders to host “share” parties where board members could sell stock. Did constant events to keep their name and idea in front of people throughout the 5 years. Got the last 42,000 because of an in-depth New York Times story on cover of Sunday edition.

Co-op Power
Massachusetts, Southern Vermont
Classic member cooperative, different levels of membership:
Standard: 975.00 over 2 years
Farmer: 750.00 over 2 years
Limited Resource: 500.00 over 2 years
Buying Group: 250.00 over 2 years
Green Worker: 50.00 plus 6 months of work at Co-op Power

They also raise money through project loans for specific projects:
Biodiesel Project: 500.00 min, 5 years, 650k raised
Energy Efficiency Project: 500.00 min, 2-5 %, 5 years, 90k raised.

Here are the questions that occurred to me:
So, why haven’t farmers markets taken this model to find their start up?

And why don’t we see more cooperatives at market management level?,’

And why not project loans among the shoppers and farmers for short-term projects to create merchandise or an earned income stream for the market or for a farmer?

Calling All Food-Based Businesses: New book seeks your capital-raising stories!

New book on financing food-based businesses seeks your capital raising stories.

BALLE fundraising book

Acclerating Community Capital-BALLE

We all seek to make our capital work effectively for our home communities, and moving our money is an important step. But after we move our money, what happens to it? And how can we influence what that money does in our communities?

In this timely webinar, we’ll hear straight from the source:

What motivates these institutions to actively advance community capital;
What the differences are between credit unions and local banks, and their respective motivations and strengths;
What services each uses to build more equitable and sustainable local economies;
How businesses and network leaders can partner more deeply with these institutions to support the development of local living economies;
And how communities can replicate some of their successful programs and community partnerships.

Come learn how to make your money work for your community by partnering with local banks and credit unions.
more on topic and registration here

Balle Conference

The New Economy is being shaped at the grassroots level. Connect, share and learn from 700 pioneering business owners and investors, elected officials, philanthropists, economic development professionals and BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) network leaders as we spotlight the most innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to growing healthy, resilient local economies.

The conference will feature:

• 80 speakers
• 16 plenary sessions and off-site celebrations
• 24 interactive sessions
• 4 local living economy tours
• Living Economies Expo
• 3 pre-conference workshop intensives:
Accelerating Community Capital
How to Build a BALLE Network
Network Leaders Exchange