When it comes to building strong, sustainable economies, it is important to focus not only on the bottom line, but also on the well-being of the communities that make up those economies. This is the philosophy behind the work of Grassroots Economics, a non-profit foundation that seeks to empower marginalized communities to take charge of their own livelihoods and economic futures.
One of the key ways that Grassroots Economics achieves this goal is through the use of community currency programs. These programs are designed to help businesses and individuals in low-income communities access the cash and credit they need to trade goods and services without relying on scarce national currencies or high-interest credit lines.
The idea behind community currency programs is simple: businesses and individuals in a community can issue their own credit, which is backed by networks of vendors, farmers, craftspeople, and schools. This credit can then be used to trade goods and services within the community, without the need for cash or traditional credit.
This approach has many benefits for low-income communities. First, it allows for the formalization of extra-legal debt structures and assets, which can help to provide a sense of security and stability for those who participate in the program. Additionally, community currency programs can help to promote local trade, which can create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
At Grassroots Economics, the organization is led by Carolina Dama, who develops large-scale environmental and social development programs and is a strong believer in women’s empowerment. Through her organization, Dama is working to empower low-income businesses and schools in Kenya to issue their own localized credit, which can help to promote economic growth and development in these communities.
In conclusion, building strong, sustainable economies requires a focus not only on the bottom line, but also on the well-being of the communities that make up those economies. Community currency programs, like those developed by Grassroots Economics, can play an important role in helping to empower marginalized communities and promote economic growth and development.