No community has the money to buy, what it takes to raise children, make the neighbourhood safe, care for the elderly and infirm, make local democracy work or
address social needs. Nor is the non-profit sector able to achieve these goals alone. By enlisting others – clients, consumers and converting them into co-workers can we go further to address the needs of our communities.
“NZ needs to clear the barriers to social enterprise”, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1607/S00693/nz-needs-to-clear-the-barriers-to-social-enterprise.htm
As well there are often different ways of approaching an objective. Instead of a change to the legal status of social enterprise entities, as the link above supposes, perhaps other ways of managing economic activity could also be of used, for example a Time Bank.
Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is often used as a measure of economic contribution for a range of activities but only in the monetary economy. GDP may exclude much of the contribution from work of home, family, neighbourhood or community, where exchanges are made on obligation and reciprocity, not on price of supply and demand in the monetary economy. Time Banking, means that participants ‘deposit’ their time into the time bank by giving practical help and support to others. They are then able to ‘withdraw’ their time when they need something doing themselves. In this way, everyone in the same bank / ‘West Coast Time Bank’? / is both a giver and receiver of all different types of help. Skills are valued equally with say, one hour of everyone’s time equally one time credit. In this way, Time banks value the contribution made by people that is typically outside the monetary economy.
On the West Coast, it is often acknowledged that our communities are resilient. Compliment? Sure. But how else might the community wish to be described?
How would you want your own community to be described?
More information about Time Banks HERE (PDF download, check out Box 1 on page 6 of the document). And are just one aspect of how models such as co-operatives, credit unions as well as private sector entrepreneurs and small businesses contribute to a better local economy and increased well being for people.
A link to the Grey District Council Economic Development Strategy (check out the options on page 6) HERE.