Chapter 41: Community finance: marshalling investments for community-owned renewable energy enterprises
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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.

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