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Funding in an era of de-growth

posted Aug 13, 2012, 7:55 AM by J Poy   [ updated Aug 13, 2012, 8:55 AM ]
As we publicize the Aug 15 session, "Funding in an era of de-growth," people have been sending in links and resources. A list, in no particular order ...
for social enterprises that are organized as nonprofits:
  • Open Money / The Community Way - a scrip-like program to fund social enterprises that are set up as nonprofits 
  • 3 pillars: private/public/internal - p103,133 of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook, by Rupert Scofield
general skills
  • exercise:  what money means to you - ch 1 of  The Ask by Laura Fredricks
  • 20 cultivation techniques  ch 1 of  The Ask by Laura Fredricks

other things to think about ...


The basic concept of debt is that you're borrowing a bit from the future to consume now.  In a growing economy, leveraging and debt ideas work great: you're taking a bit from future better times to use now in leaner times.  

But in a shrinking economy, this basic presumption is turned upside down.  Debt in a shrinking economy means taking from a leaner future, to consume now in times of relative plenty.  Debt in down times puts you (and your business) in the hole faster-than-fast.

Thus financing in an age of de-growth is all about the search for debt-free ways to gain start-up cash.

More about this concept at 
and at


The concept of "economic contraction" acknowledges that the economy is shrinking -- driven by issues such as resource limitations, peak oil, biocapacity, and the collapse of the credit system.  An international thread is appearing which focuses on "de-growth" -- the idea that we would not simply allow the economy to collapse helter-skelter, but instead plan the way down. 

Quoting wikipedia:  "Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. Rather, 'degrowthists' aim to maximize happiness and well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community."