This is a book in search of an alternative to the discredited investor-owned banks that have brought the rich countries into crisis and the world economy into a long period of austerity. It finds customer-owned banks – credit unions, co-operative banks, building societies – have hardly been affected by the crisis and continue to operate according to their organisational DNA: low-risk, close to the customer, underpinned by real savings, and still lending to SMEs to protect jobs and local economies. They are big business – in some countries with over 40% of the market – but networked in smaller, democratic societies whose origins go back to 1850s Germany.
Browse by title
The Power of Customer-owned Banks
Social Enterprise in Remote and Rural Communities
Edited by Jane Farmer, Carol Hill and Sarah-Anne Muñoz
This book addresses a clutch of contemporary societal challenges including: aging demography and the consequent need for extended care in communities; public service provision in an era of retrenching welfare and global financial crises; service provision to rural communities that are increasingly ‘hollowed out’ through lack of working age people; and, how best to engender the development of community social enterprise organizations capable of providing high quality, accessible services. It is packed with information and evidence garnered from research into the environment for developing community social enterprise and co-producing services; how communities react to being asked to co-produce; what to expect in terms of the social enterprises they can produce; and, how to make them happen.
Edited by Richard Seymour
Defining ‘social entrepreneurship’ has in the past proved problematic, and debate continues concerning what it does and does not entail and encompass. This unique book frames the debates surrounding the phenomenon and argues that many of the difficulties relating to the study of social entrepreneurship are rooted in methodological issues. Highlighting these issues, the book sets out ideas and implications for researchers using alternative methodologies.
Creating Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid
Edited by Jason Fairbourne, Stephen W. Gibson and W. Gibb Dyer
This unique book provides an overview of the need to alleviate poverty and what methods have been used in the past to do so (e.g. microcredit). It then introduces the concept of the microfranchise and discusses how this business model can be used in poverty alleviation. Different models of microfranchising are reviewed and specific case studies highlighted to show how it has worked in different parts of the world. The book concludes with a discussion of the advantages as well as the potential problems and pitfalls that accompany microfranchising.