Local Investing: mutual benefit over mutual funds

Local investing is the magic of people investing in people — their neighbours and local businesses, and it’s making a sizeable impact across Alberta, keeping more money in the local economy and creating local jobs.

Thrive is looking to raise capital for Calgary businesses through Local Investing YYC, a local investment co-op. Members of Local Investing YYC can direct investment into local businesses, diversifying their investment portfolio into Calgary’s local economy. Investors benefit from TFSA and RRSP-eligible shares, an annual dividend and no management fees on their investment.

Success stories of local investing include a community investment co-op in Sangudo, a small Alberta town northeast of Edmonton. Its first project in 2010 raised $220,000 capital between its 22 members (maximum $10,000 investment per member, with $1,000 for member share and $9,000 to shareholder loans).

This investment allowed two men from the community to purchase the long-for-sale slaughterhouse and butcher shop, expand its offerings, and hire 14 new employees. Saving Sangudo Custom Meats also allowed its resident ranchers to keep their meat close to home instead of shuttling their livestock to the next town over for processing.

Investors saw a 5-6% return on investment in the first year and double in the year following.

A specialist in community economics, Michael H. Shuman is an economist and author of such books as The Small-Mart Revolution and Local Dollars, Local Sense. In a 2009 article for The Cap Times in Madison, WI, Shuman wrote about the “essential role localization plays in promoting global prosperity, sustainability, and peace.”

Shuman believes the best way to reduce poverty is to encourage economic self-sufficiency in the impoverished communities – a multiplier effect. “As we strengthen and spread our own local banks, credit unions, stock markets and mutual funds, we can help partners create these institutions as well, so that local savings everywhere increasingly support local housing, local education and local entrepreneurship.”

Local Investing YYC hopes to create this same support for local entrepreneurship and a strengthened, diverse, and inclusive economy for all in Calgary as it kicks off its campaign to raise $500,000 capital this spring.

Take Action:

  1. To learn more about local investing, connect with Local Investing YYC here.
  2. Fill out this survey to apply for funding from Local Investing YYC.
  3. Purchase Michael H. Shuman’s books here.
  4. Click here to watch Sangudo Custom Meats’ co-owner Jeff Senger on TEDxUofC.
  5. Read this report from Momentum to learn more about Community Economic Development Investment Funds.