Tag Archives: crowdfunding

Democratising finance – a cultural tension

Bruce Davis, Managing director of Abundance Generation, recently gave a short talk on the democratisation of finance. Davis argues that traditional sources of finance are dis-empowering, and that we should exercise our right to change and deal with alternative providers of finance that offer more  control and flexibility.

(Abundance Generation is a crowd-funding tool, which allows people to invest in UK renewable energy projects – from as little as £5, using debentures as the financial mechanism of choice to secure a long-term commitment from both the project and the investor.)

See the Davis proposition explained here…

Not all viewers will agree with his position on traditional banks, but his emphatic, if slightly downbeat message, does contain some consistent and widely felt concerns.

His principle point is that we all, highlighted in a recent Mining the SEEM article, suffer from financial cognitive dissonance. Younger people, Davis argues, now understand the power of the web to link reflection on finance and action via a web connected keyboard.

We would argue the same for the emerging Social Finance market. New modes of lending and support, available from non-traditional sources, where key information, data and contact is web based.

A key difference to those publishing and marketing in the social finance sector is that there is much screen space and column inches devoted to  the philosophy of the lender, always. The core values and social concerns of the proposition are the key message, always available before control issues are highlighted or the rate card is displayed.

Davis sees alternative finance as a cultural issue. Trust, emphatic support of social and ethical principles are always first for him. This is the default presentation mode for the social finance sector, we would argue.

Mainstream banks are now beginning to make changing accounts and money ‘mobility’ an easier option. Perhaps there is a paradigm shift in mainstream fiscal supply starting to emerge. What do you think?

The SEEM Team – thinking about ethical investment and renewable energy

Ethical business with a social dimension...
Ethical business with a social dimension…