Our partners of the Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy project, all impatient Regenerative Capitalists, know that intuitively. They are creating the fertile ground, today, for those critical consciousness shifts that precede all great societal transformations. They aren’t waiting for our economic and financial systems to reform or transform themselves; they are reinventing those systems from the ground up, in their own communities.
One of the critical, enabling consciousness shifts that will usher in the era of Regenerative Capitalism, and in fact one of the principle themes we see embedded in all regenerative economy enterprises, will be a more holistic way of viewing wealth. Community Sourced Capital, the subject of our most recent Regenerative Story, is giving everyday people a way to tap into this new understanding of wealth by offering them an extraordinary opportunity: to lend money, as little as 50 dollars, to the businesses that enhance life in their own communities, with no expectation of a financial return beyond the repayment of their original loan. Repayment rates are tied to revenues generated by the borrowing enterprise.
Rachel Maxwell, CEO of Community Sourced Capital, hopes that Squareholders (as these lenders are called) will begin to see that “money does not have to be about creating more money, it can be a tool we can use to create a world we want.” As it turns out Community Sourced Capital is finding that their model is achieving success beyond their expectations for the very reason that it is not offering financial incentives to Squareholders. Instead Community Sourced Capital offers them something of much greater value… a space to reflect on why they are enjoying the experience of giving with no expectation of financial gain.
Squareholders are beginning to connect with this more expansive experience of wealth in very powerful ways. As Rachel says: “We have heard reflections like, ‘I never felt so connected to a business,’ and ‘I feel I am a part of something that is important and I care about this in a way that I didn’t care before.’” Community Sourced Capital’s President Casey Dilloway explains it this way: “We see people moving from a mechanical focus on money to a regenerative focus, a deeper understanding of what their money can do.”
Given the constraints and insecurities imposed by today's economy, most Squareholders are unlikely to lend out more than the small portion of their savings that they consider discretionary to the businesses funded by Community Sourced Capital. Yet Rachel poses an intriguing what-if question. If a regenerative economy turns out to be one where the economy might not grow or might even shrink, is a zero interest rate loan the wave of the future? She doesn't pretend to know the answer but is excited by the possibilities.
The Field Guide will continue to explore these uncharted territories, along with these pathfinders of the emergent Regenerative Economy. Please take a tour of our stories if you are ready to enter this altered state.