Just Transition Projects
Communities recovering from centuries of extraction require finance capital to start and grow community- and worker-owned enterprises that meet people’s needs. It’s key that the way we make capital available doesn’t reproduce the extractive economy. Here are examples of reinvestment projects that empower rather than exploit communities, and promote the growth of regenerative economies.
Examples of Just Transition Projects
The Financial Cooperative
T he Financial Cooperative is a decentralized national infrastructure for cooperative lending and non-extractive finance that makes finance capital available to communities that need it most. The Financial Cooperative is itself a coop, made up of democratically controlled, place-based loan funds from around the country that all subscribe to five core principles:
(1) Productive Sustainability
(2) Democratic Decision-making and Ownership
(3) Radical inclusion that centers historically marginalized communities
(4) Maximizing community benefit
The member loan funds of The Financial Cooperative employ the power of aggregation to help them achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently, by sharing learning via the Peer Network, sharing back-end services (like bookkeeping, regulatory filings, and the like) and sharing capital. This aggregation also makes it possible for investors to invest with lower risk and greater impact.
Cooperation Richmond is a not-for-profit cooperative incubator. It is a one-stop-shop for the incubation, education, training, mentorship and capital support required to create, convert, and continue to develop successful cooperative enterprises in Richmond, CA. Cooperation Richmond builds community-controlled wealth through worker-owned and community-owned cooperative businesses and enterprises by and for low-income communities and communities of color in Richmond, especially those of us coming from legacies of systemic marginalization and barred opportunity.
Our vision is a Richmond that is powered by local worker and community-owned and operated businesses. The people once excluded from the economic opportunity of the extractive economy are now empowered through a regenerative economy and are actively building a socially just and ecologically sustainable economic system.
Just Transition Loan Fund
The Just Transition Loan Fund is an incubation and finance project that is being developed by the Climate Justice Alliance. The fund will be a part of The Financial Cooperative and will provide financial and technical support to communities doing Just Transition work on the ground.
Cooperation Buffalo mobilizes workers in Buffalo, NY to achieve economic security through cooperative business ownership, generating wealth and power in communities most affected by inequality. This year, CB is deploying $87,500 in non-extractive capital to a predominantly low-income women-led childcare center that has converted to worker ownership.
Boston Ujima Project
The Boston Ujima Project is organizing neighbors, workers, business owners and investors to create a community-controlled economy in Greater Boston. The Ujima Project seeks to create a new business and finance ecosystem that democratizes local investment, production and consumption to grow community wealth and resilience. The project will build and connect a democratic investment and real estate fund, a business alliance that meets community standards, a network-wide worker council, and an alternative local currency.
Southern Reparations Loan Fund
The Southern Reparations Loan Fund (SRLF), a project of the Southern Grassroots Economies Project (SGEP), makes business loans to cooperatively owned businesses anchored in the most marginalized Southern communities. The concept of reparations is at the heart of SRLF’s mission: SRLF moves capital stemming from an economy rooted in extraction, exploitation, genocide, slavery, and land grabs to build Southern enterprises that are owned and democratically controlled by the very communities from which the wealth was stolen in the first place.