Read the first part in this series to see the intro to crowdfunding and cooperative workplaces.
So here is a more concrete example of how we could do this in the real world.
Imagine 100 Daily kos readers borrow $30,000 from lending club. That 30k is borrowed at interest, 10 percent sounds about right. Other daily kos readers fund the loans. Here is the beauty of crowdfudning, no one needs to loan more than $25 dollars, and the note that you receive bears interest. If Kos readers and other regular peer lending investors fund the loans, they will all fund, and they will fund fast.
Now, all of a sudden, we have three million dollars to work with, and that three million dollars can be raised in one week. It's important to remember, this isn't charity, the money people loan will be paid back- with interest, if the business succeeds that is.
So- what to do with that money? first we need to gain community support for a project. Suppose the neighborhood wants a coffee shop, or an co-op food store. well, the people in that community must be willing to shop at that establishment, better yet, they will want to buy into the co-op. Workers will also be able to buyin to the co-op as well. The money that the business earns in profits and in co-op buyins will go towards paying back the original loan.
Profits aren't guaranteed, neither is the business, the only way it is going to succeed is if the local community supports the establishment, and if the business provides something that the local citizens need in their daily lives.
Now here is where it gets interesting, if 1000 member decide to borrow 30k, that is 30million dollars raised. What kind of business co-op could we start with 30 million?
Before the internet, raising cash and awareness were tough. Now, with crowdfudning raising million is the easy part. Getting the community to support a local business with sound ethics might be the harder part.
Always a naysayer in the crowd.
Here is a crystal clear example.
I have lived in neighborhoods in NYC that desperately needed a coffee shop that was kid friendly. Or they needed an organic grocer, or a daycare, or a butcher.
If you can mobilize the locals, and explain that you are going to open a co-op that hires people at livable wages, and that this will be community owned and operated, then you can get it done.
Borrowing a ton of money with the power of crowdfunding is easy. Each person need only invest in 25 dollar increments. Getting people to frequent the business is a different story, and running a profitable business, that is the hard part. If the neighborhood will buy into the co-op, and spend their money there, then it can work.