Community Investment Fund Handbook

This handbook shines a spotlight on an emerging generation of practical, intelligent activists who are reinventing local financial systems. Even as they criticize capitalism, they are using – and mastering – its financial tools to solve local challenges. In the pages ahead you’ll find an emerging set of tools we call community investment funds. Our purpose and hope in preparing this guide is that you’ll consider creating one of these funds for your own community.

Entrepreneurship in Communities of Color

This guide gives ecosystem builders and local developers an overview of key concepts and general recommendations on how to use entrepreneurship ecosystem building to develop high-growth entrepreneurship in communities of color. The information in this guide was compiled through conversations with industry leaders, prior research and current ecosystem builders who have designed and led successful inclusive ecosystem building strategies in communities of color.

Etsy: Redefining Entrepreneurship

Etsy is an online marketplace where artists and collectors sell their handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. Founded in June 2005, Etsy now includes more than 20 million products and over one million sellers worldwide. In the last year alone, they generated over $895 million in sales. A survey of 5,500 U.S. sellers reveals a unique population of Internet-enabled entrepreneurs who are building businesses on their own terms — prioritizing flexibility and independence over rapid growth, and using Etsy income to build resilience in the face of declining job security.

Entrepreneurship in Rural America

Community affairs offices at the Board and Reserve Banks engage in a wide variety of activities to help financial institutions, community-based organizations, government entities, and the public understand and address financial services issues that affect low- and moderate-income people and geographic regions.

Business Ownership and Local Economic Well-Being

Anil Rupasingha, PhD Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Local entrepreneurship matters for local economic performance and smaller local businesses are more important than larger local businesses for local economic performance.

Entrepreneurship in Portland

The State of Entrepreneurship in Portland reviews the current environment for entrepreneurship in Portland and defines an action plan to complement the City’s target industry cluster and neighborhood economic development strategies and catalytic redevelopment efforts.

2013 Independent Business Survey

ILSR’s annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives.

The Civic Economics of Retail

A solid review of several foundational studies on the costs and benefits to cities of locally-owned businesses versus larger chain stores from Civic Economics.

Guide to Going Local

We say we want vibrant local economies, healthy neighborhoods and downtown areas, and less sprawl into our outlying green spaces— but we don’t always support the existing local options that will help us realize this vision. Why does “going local” matter?