Over the past year the world has been in the throes of the worst pandemic in a century, and many of our essential local businesses are crashing.  With several promising vaccines now being administered, we finally can begin planning for revival—of our businesses, our economies, and community life.  One critically important solution lies in our own hands.  Or more accurately, in our life savings.  

Americans now have $56 trillion in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and insurances funds—nearly all of it invested in global corporations.  If you and your neighbors could shift even a small amount of that capital from Wall Street to Main Street, your local economy could flourish. This workshop, organized in a collaboration with the Neighborhood Associates Corporation, is designed to help you personally and your community develop practical local investment strategies.


Local Economics 101 Video-Only Version: To register, click here.  Once you have registered, please send an email to shuman@igc.org to receive logon credentials for access to course materials.


Local Economics 101 Video-Only Version: If you have an Eventbrite ticket, you can access the videos and workshop materials by clicking here.

Local Investing in Montana Workshop Series, October 4, 11, 18, & November 1: Sponsored by The Center for Community Ownership.  If you have a login ID and password from the sponsoring organization, you can access the additional videos and workshop materials by clicking here.


If you are interested in sponsoring a workshop for your community, city, or region, please download this document, which answers all the questions about objectives, format, audience, content, and costs.  And please let Jen Risley know of your interest:  jen@thelocalcrowd.com. She can walk you through the details. 



Those interested in local investment:

  • Why are local businesses so important for community development?
  • What are the returns and risks of local investments?
  • What are the most promising kinds of local investments?

For local investors:

  • How can I find local investments?
  • How should I evaluate local investments?
  • How can I use tax-deferred pension savings for local investments? 
  • What are the rules governing self-directed IRAs and solo 401ks?
  • Why are local banks and credit unions important for local investors?

For local businesses looking for local investment:

  • What local investment opportunities do cooperatives offer?
  • What are the basics of securities law?
  • What tools and resources are available to help me prepare my business for financing? 
  • How can my business raise funds from accredited investors?
  • How can my business raise funds from grassroots investors?

For policymakers:

  • What kinds of community investment funds might facilitate local investment?
  • What kinds of state and local policies can facilitate local investment?

How are the workshops structured?

The course is built around four 90-minute zoom sessions led by Michael, spread over at least a month. The sessions are structured to be highly interactive.  Between sessions, participants will watch 15 videos, each 20-40 minutes and built around one key question.  (See the adjacent box.)  The material incorporates and updates key points from Michael’s last three books.

What are the costs?

If we organize the workshop, we typically charge $199 per student.  We also provide an option for people just to view the videotapes for $99 (register here, if you’re interested).  If you organize the workshop, the fee structure is up to you.

Who’s the intended audience?

The target audience is anyone in your community interested in moving some of his or her money into local businesses, projects, or people.  But many others might benefit from this workshop as well, including local businesspeople looking for new sources of capital, economic developers, local finance professionals, and policymakers. 

Are there other costs?

Some.  If we organize the workshop, we will work with you to raise funds from local underwriters, including banks, community foundations, and local philanthropists.  We already have proposals ready to go.  Once our fees are raised ($4,000), we will coordinate marketing efforts.  If you take the lead, we will ask for a deposit of $5,000, and then you get to keep all the fees collected.  If you sign up 50-100 students, you and your organization actually could make money.