Since the 2008 financial crisis, more people are exploring alternative approaches to economics and money. In this context, community currencies – new types of money designed by communities to meet their specific needs – are coming to the fore.
Complementing rather than replacing conventional money, these community currencies all seek to address economic, social and environmental needs neglected by the standard system.
Money with a Purpose, a report published by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Community Currencies in Action (CCIA), highlights the significant benefits of such projects. The report, which can be downloaded for free below, focuses on 6 community currencies running across Europe. Key findings include:
- 74% of services and organisations participating in Spice Time Credit programmes were able to make better use of the skills and resources in their communities; 58% reported improved collaboration with community groups and 63% with individual citizens.
- 76% of surveyed Spice Time Credit users feel like they can participate more in their community, 63% can afford to do more things, 49% feel less isolated, 45% feel healthier and 66% report improved quality of life
- 67% of surveyed users of CCIA currency the Brixton Pound tried out new local businesses through the currency, with 35% exclusively using the Brixton Pound in these businesses
- CCIA pilots TradeQoin and SoNantes are providing interest-free credit to local SMEs and linking these businesses together in a strong trading network
- SoNantes, which launched in April 2015 as a CCIA pilot, will become the biggest ever community currency backed by local government
Download the full report here.