To realize community economies we need enterprises that are capable of enacting ethics that depart from dominant economic norms. Community enterprises are businesses in which individuals come together as active communities to create an enterprise around a perceived need, issue or opportunity. Like other forms of ethical enterprise, they are motivated by a dual ambition to participate in economic activity while also contributing to social or environmental goals. This chapter explores how two community-owned wind farms have drawn on and fostered a diversity of enterprise design features to realise their ethical visions for democratized energy systems, sustainability and local regeneration. These community enterprises have used different legal structures, modified and supplemented in various ways, in order to manifest community visions. These examples help reveal the opportunities for protecting ethics within community enterprise structures and help us to see beyond the sometimes-stifling boundaries of status quo thinking about existing legal structures.
To build community economies, we need sources of finance that are aligned with our more-than-economic goals. However, sourcing mission-oriented finance is often a challenge. One solution gaining popularity is sourcing finance from communities with an engaged and ongoing commitment to the mission of the enterprise. This chapter presents examples of the different forms of community finance being crafted to realize community-owned renewable energy enterprises (CORE). It explores the implications of community finance for the creation of ethics-driven community economies. Marshalling the financial resources needed by a CORE enterprise is no small feat and requires a mix of finance arrangements, involving investment, grants, loans, donations, in-kind and more, as well as efforts to reduce costs in creative ways. Decisions to go with community finance over mainstream finance options have important implications for our ability to access sources of finance that are accountable to ethics, patient and grounded in local communities.