Our column from this month’s Keynsham Voice:
A new way of doing business
Imagine a town whose businesses offer jobs and training, deliver social benefits, are co-operatively owned and take care of the planet – all whilst providing the essential goods and services the local community needs.
‘Transition oriented’ enterprises just like this are springing up across Britain, proving it’s possible to make a profit and be a force for good.
Each of these enterprises is driven by committed people with the vision, passion and creativity to identify a new, more sustainable way of doing business; people who are changing where they live for the better. Together they are providing for their communities’ fundamental needs – food, energy, transport and housing.
In fact, in Keynsham there is already at least one business like this – Keynsham Community Energy – where creating wellbeing is as important as creating wealth.
Research has shown that money spent on local, independent businesses has a bigger and more positive impact on the communities in which they operate than the same amount of money spent in chain stores and corporations.
That is because most money spent with local businesses gets re-spent in the local economy on good and services. However, only a small amount of money spent in chains remains in the community, with the majority going elsewhere (and often avoiding paying tax in the process!).
There are many different social enterprises including construction firms, bus companies, bakeries, cafes, care services, farms, community banks, pubs, shops and energy companies. These companies are financially viable trading entities making a profit whilst fulfilling a real community need, delivering social benefits and having beneficial environmental impacts.
Transition Keynsham wants to see more social enterprises serving our community. Anyone interested in joining us, or who already has an idea they’d like some help getting started, please get in touch at email@example.com.
Published in Keynsham Voice September 2015, www.keynshamvoice.co.uk