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Michael Shuman

Michael Shuman

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics. He is one of the architects of the crowdfunding JOBS Act signed into law by President Obama in April 2012.

He’s a fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and Post Carbon Institute and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He teaches economic development at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He has authored or coauthored nine books, including Local Dollars, Local Sense; The Small Mart Revolution; and Going Local. Shuman has performed leakage analyses and related economic­ development planning in more than ten states and has analyzed opportunities for food localization for several states, cities, counties, and regions across the nation. He has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for thirty years—in forty­seven states and eight countries. He has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, such as the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR's Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, and has written nearly one hundred articles for such periodicals as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, Parade Magazine, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Previously, he has been a W.K. Kellogg National Leadership fellow. He is also a member of both the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar, and he lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his two children.

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Michael Shuman Speaking Tour 2012

Michael Shuman

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  1. Local Dollars, Local Sense

    By Michael Shuman
    Foreword by Peter Buffett

    Local Dollars, Local Sense is a guide to creating Community Resilience.

    Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street?

    In Local Dollars, Local Sense, local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies-and profit in the process. A revolutionary toolbox for social change, written with compelling personal stories, the book delivers the most thorough overview available of local investment options, explains the obstacles, and profiles investors who have paved the way. Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices-from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.

    A rich resource for both investors and the entrepreneurs they want to support, Local Dollars, Local Sense eloquently shows how to truly protect your financial future--and your community's.

    Paperback $17.95

    PUB DATE February 20, 2012

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing

  2. The Local Economy Solution

    By Michael Shuman

    Reinventing economic development as if small business mattered

    In cities and towns across the nation, economic development is at a crossroads. A growing body of evidence has proven that its current cornerstone—incentives to attract and retain large, globally mobile businesses—is a dead end. Even those programs that focus on local business, through buy-local initiatives, for example, depend on ongoing support from government or philanthropy. The entire practice of economic development has become ineffective and unaffordable and is in need of a makeover. 

    The Local Economy Solution suggests an alternative approach in which states and cities nurture a new generation of special kinds of businesses that help local businesses grow. These cutting-edge companies, which Shuman calls “pollinator businesses,” are creating jobs and the conditions for future economic growth, and doing so in self-financing ways. 

    Pollinator businesses are especially important to communities that are struggling to lift themselves up in a period of economic austerity, when municipal budgets are being slashed. They also promote locally owned businesses that increase local self-reliance and evince high labor and environmental standards. 

    The book includes nearly two dozen case studies of successful pollinator businesses that are creatively facilitating business and neighborhood improvements, entrepreneurship, local purchasing, local investing, and profitable business partnerships. Examples include Main Street Genome (which provides invaluable data to improve local business performance), Supportland (which is developing a powerful loyalty card for local businesses), and Fledge (a business accelerator that finances itself through royalty payments). It also shows how the right kinds of public policy can encourage the spread of pollinator businesses at virtually no cost.

    Paperback $19.95

    PUB DATE June 11, 2015

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing

  3. Raising Dough

    By Elizabeth Ü
    Foreword by Michael Shuman

    More and more entrepreneurs are using food-based businesses to solve social and environmental problems - and yet the majority of them report that a lack of access to capital prevents them from launching, maintaining, or growing their ventures. Raising Dough is an unprecedented guide to the full range of financing options available to support sustainable food businesses.

    Raising Dough provides valuable insights into the world of finance, including:

    • Descriptions of various capital options, including traditional debt and equity, government grant and loan programs, and cutting-edge models such as crowdfunding and community-based alternatives
    • Guiding questions to help determine which capital options are the most appropriate given the size, stage, entity type, growth plans, mission, and values of an enterprise
    • Case studies and testimonials highlighting the experiences of food system entrepreneurs who have been there before, including both success stories and cautionary tales
    • Referrals to sources of capital, financiers, investor networks, and other financial resources.

    Written primarily for people managing socially responsible food businesses, the resources and tips covered in this book will benefit social entrepreneurs - and their investors - working in any sector.

    Paperback $19.95

    PUB DATE June 13, 2013

    PUBLISHER Chelsea Green Publishing