Started in 2012, The Local Crowd™ works with rural communities to create local crowdfunding ecosystems that support growth and sustainability of local businesses and organizations. Our full-service package includes crowdfunding software, consulting and instruction–including webinars, clinics, and guidebooks to help focus entrepreneurs on creating successful high-impact campaigns. More recently we have been researching the 4th sector and creating an educational and crowdfunding tool for social entrepreneurs that are doing some amazing 4th sector work.
WHAT IS THE 4TH SECTOR?
The three economic sectors of government, nonprofits and businesses make up our traditional economy. A new 4th sector is emerging that combines the mission driven approach of nonprofits with the market driven approach of business. Think of Tom’s shoes — a company that sells great shoes, while giving an equal number away to those in need. These entrepreneurial ventures are creating financially viable enterprises that prioritize social mission over profit—pioneering new ways to get the work done without depending on grants or donations.
WHAT IS TLC 4SE?
Because of the potential to create positive social change worldwide, global development agencies, such as the World Economic Forum, are creating initiatives to support growth of the 4th sector. Leaders recognize that the 4th sector cannot work effectively without a supportive ecosystem – one that is currently described as weak and fragmented. To support the development of a strong 4th sector ecosystem, The Local Crowd (TLC) developed 4SE (pronounced FORCE)— a coordinated suite of services designed for local communities to engage them, educate them about the 4th sector, and provide financial capital through the TLC crowdfunding platform.
READ OUR NSF RESEARCH ABSTRACT
This project will engage four communities in a pilot study designed to engage and educate key leaders, energize advocacy for fourth-sector growth, and catalyze fourth-sector social enterprises by offering capital access through crowdfunding. The validation of this grass-roots scalable educational and participatory incubator will enable communities to support local for-benefit businesses who will improve the quality of life in their communities, create jobs, and contribute to the economy, leading to expansion of this model across the nation and globally.
To learn more about our current research with the National Science Foundation click on the 4SE logo below: