The demand and necessity to invest for impact, globally and locally, is on the rise. However, current investment options and regulations in BC & Canada significantly restrict Canadians from investing into local opportunities. The result is that nearly all investment capital leaves local communities and is placed into far-off stock markets and corporations.
An unintended consequence is that while our investments create significant jobs and wealth elsewhere, the places we live, work and play are overlooked and under-financed. At the same time, rural business development studies and economic development organizations have identified that ‘access to capital’ is a top barrier to business (including co-ops) start-ups, expansions and successions.
Community Investment Co-ops (CICs) are a new and innovative support system for rural and urban economic and business development that effectively bridge the gap between local investors and local ventures in need of financing. CICs are a cost effective, community owned and controlled impact fund. They enable residents to become partners in locally driven economic development, which leads to stronger and more sustainable economies.