#7 Funding Integrative Community Ventures (ICV)

Scaling Across Community, State and National Levels

By far the most constant question asked about ICV is how will this be funded? This is really a two part question because ICV will start as a pilot project. The first level of funding is for a five year study of ICV’s concepts and business model.  The second part of the funding question applies to how large scale funding could occur on community, state and national levels following the success of the ICV pilot project.  Once a proven ICV model exists and research data supports its positive impact within an Integrative Economy then large scale funding of ICV businesses is a critical component for building an Integrative Economy.

Large Scale Community Funding

Funding ICVs requires that the Local Community Capacity Employment Sector is part of the measured economy and that communities have created Local Community Boards (LCB).  These LCBs will determine the needs and services they want within their region.  Clearly, ICV businesses are such a service since they focus on building a critical infrastructure of the Integrative Economy; high functioning humans.  Once the LCB determines the number of ICV type businesses necessary for their community and the amount of funding needed to launch these businesses, then the initial phase, large scale funding of ICVs can proceed.

Initial Phase

At this stage large investors are needed in order to get significant sums of money shifted into the LCC/LCB infrastructure during this economic transformation.  We are seeking investors who see their financial investments in launching ICV type businesses as a way to facilitate economic transformation towards an Integrative Economy and not for personal financial growth.  Large scale funding could happen in a number of ways:

Public/Private Foundations: Today foundations are the strongest support of local community development.  Thus Foundations could choose to infuse their funds into ICV businesses through the local LCBs as a prime funding source.

Large Corporations:  Corporations could choose to fund ICVs directly.  Specifically these ICVs would hire the partners of their employees.  Thus the corporation is providing a secondary support for their employees, receiving potential tax breaks from the government and ensuring a more satisfied work force.  Increased social and economic vibrancy in local communities is good for corporations.

Small Business Cooperatives:   In a local community, small businesses could come together to provide funds to ICVs.  Their incentive is that much of the ICB’s money will circulate in their local communities and return to them through businesses transactions.  Small businesses would work with their LCB to infuse funds to ICV businesses.

State or Local Government:  Currently State and local governments fund many social service nonprofits to provide care for the community.  With the success of the ICV model a good portion of their funds could be re-directed into ICV businesses.  Eventually these state-based funds would support increased economic self-sufficiency in the community.

Integrative Economy Readjustment Act (PI Bill) Federal legislative action can support an innovative solution in the new Integrative Economy.  This new legislation would focus on “Private Investments (PI).”  It would be along the lines of previous and similar action; The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (GI Bill) (See a description of this funding option in Vibrant Futures Series/One sheets #8).

Ideally, most of the initial, large-scale ICV funding will come from the private sector as they realize the full benefits beyond the re-employment of millions of people.  These other benefits include re-engaged communities, strengthened Main Street businesses, and trained high functioning community members.  Ultimately, as an Integrative Economy takes hold everyone benefits in a much higher quality of life.

Long Term Sustainable Funding

As the initial large scale funding is spread out from the Local Community Boards (LCB) to ICV businesses, their employees will receive their pay through a debit card type bank account system. All local businesses will accept this card and they can then track how many funds they receive from ICV employees and businesses. Using this knowledge, local businesses can determine their level of yearly investment into the LCC employment sector/ICV businesses.  This sets up the sustainable, closed-loop funding stream for the future.  Employees of ICV realize that their salary and business expenditures are truly coming from the local business community and thus are incentivized to buy local.  Local businesses can see the support they’re receiving from ICV businesses and realize it makes sense for them to continue to invest in the ICV.  In time, this community reciprocity becomes a significant closed-loop funding source.   Year after year, the local market sector and the LCC work together in a co-supportive environment that provides funding for ICV.  As a result it creates a thriving community with a stable economy meeting the quality of life needs of those who live there.