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.
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The Power of Customer-owned Banks
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.