With our current banking in trouble, many people are developing alternative views of the economy. How can we develop a fairer system, that supports social and natural resources, and serves the needs of the local area.
Q: What is a green economy?
A: A green economy is one where growth in income and employment is driven by investments that improve equality and well-being, while reducing environmental risks and damage.
Buying local local products, choosing to support local independent shops and cafes rather than supermarkets and multinational corporations, buying from the county's local markets and Farmers Markets, supporting local businesses and projects, and saving with a local credit union all help support the local economy, creating better prosperity in the county.
Similarly we can share resources with neighbours and friends, or set up or join local clubs to share costs of expensive items such as cars, lawn mowers, sewing machines, etc. We can join our local LETS scheme and Freecycle.
Nick Sherwood (REconomy, Herefordshire) and Fiona Ward (Transition Network) have developed a suite of four reports, which explore the potential for creating a new type of local economy in Herefordshire. Click here to find out more and to read the full reports.
Further information on economy and finance is available via the links below:
- Moneybox Credit Union is a local financial co-operative. Their aim is to provide a safe place for you to save and borrow without the excesses associated with bigger banks. The Credit Union is totally government protected and only exists to serve the people of Herefordshire.
- Herefordshire Community Funding Advice and Directory - with A-Z of fundraising ideas.
- The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms, and provide excellent support to local businesses in Herefordshire.
- Community First's Co-operative Enterprise Hub aims to expand the co-operative economy by creating strong, ethically-led businesses with a deep sense of social responsibility. Business Support through the Enterprise Hub is free.
- Welcome to our Future is responsible for the management of the Severn Waste Environmental Fund (SWEF) in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The fund uses the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme to help local communities.
- Impetus - a local Community Development Finance Institution. They provide funds to develop new work and job opportunities and aim to improve the economy and environment of the rural areas of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
- REconomy aims to help create truly sustainable local enterprises as part of a thriving, resilient Herefordshire economy. REconomy talk to key people and organisations across the county and work nationally with the Transition Network.
- Herefordshire Greenlinks is a local business community using shared marketing to help people find eco-friendly goods and services with our printed and online directory.
- Herefordshire Repair Cafes! By promoting repairs, local Repair Cafes help reduce mountains of waste, support local repair businesses, save us money & resources, and help minimise CO2 emissions. A numebr set up around Herefordshire during h.Energy 2013, and more will be coming soon. Check the Repair Cafe Facebook page for up-to-date details.
- There are all sorts of benefits to local businesses in improving their green credentials. Click here (or see below) for a presentation made by Gill Hutchinson of the Federation of Small Businesses during h.Energy 2013. This presentation is full of top tips and marketting insights - click here for a video of the full presentation.
REGIONAL & NATIONAL
- The new economics foundation is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. They promote innovative solutions to the major economic, environment and social challenges of today and aren’t afraid to challenge mainstream thinking.
- metnet is a business network that promotes collaborative working among businesses that provide products or services within the environmental technologies sector in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire.
- Localise West Midlands is a not-for-profit organisation promoting the environmental, social and economic benefits of local trading, using local businesses, materials and supply chains; linking local needs to local resources; development of community and local capacity; decentralisation of appropriate democratic and economic power and provision of services tailored to meet local needs. For more information click here.
- Charles Eisenstein explains the concept of Sacred Economics