Past Meetup

CO Co-op Investment Club: Intro Meeting

This Meetup is past

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An inclusive economy starts with us!

Join the Colorado Co-op Investment Club as we leverage our collective resources to support cooperative businesses.

This club builds off of successful similar clubs throughout the U.S. A Minneapolis co-op investment club has made $30,000 in loans over four years. In Boston, a club made $20,000 in loans in a single year.

Come to this meeting if you
• want to learn about investment clubs or co-ops
• want to help organize the group (we'll need a secretary, treasurer, etc)
• want to meet other people interested in investing in co-op businesses

Timeline
At our December planning meeting, the group will approve the bylaws.
In January 2018, we plan to launch the club with a regular monthly meeting.

Read our FAQ and comment below if you have additional questions.

Can anyone from the Colorado Co-op Study Circle join?
Yes, invite your friends!

What is a co-op?
A co-op is an enterprise that is member-owned. Co-op members can be residents of a house (Boulder Housing Coalition (http://boulderhousingcoalition.org/)), shoppers at a grocery store (West Colfax Food Co-op (http://westcolfaxfoodcoop.org/)), producers or artists at a business (Five Points Fermentation (https://www.facebook.com/FivePointsFermentation/), Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery (https://boulderartsandcrafts.com/)), users of an app or website (MiData (https://midata.coop/)), workers at a business (Green Taxi (http://greentaxico-op.com/), Walk 2 Connect (http://walk2connect.com/)), and more.

What is the time and financial commitment?
All of this is up for discussion, but at present, club members will most likely commit to a year and to regularly attend the monthly meeting. The estimated contribution is $25-200 per month.

How does it work?
We'll be making loans to all kinds of cooperative who are seeking capital. These could be housing cooperatives, grocery cooperatives, producer cooperatives, agriculture cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and worker cooperatives.

Pooling our resources could allow us to invest in larger co-ops who have direct public offerings, and it could also allow us to share the risk for investing in smaller co-ops.

Our typical loan will offer lower interest than traditional banks, credit unions, or CDFIs to support the growing Front Range cooperative ecosystem.

Will I get my money back?
Yes, we are making short-term (5-10 year) loans, so members will receive their money back with interest. Each member may reinvest that money and making additional loans. They may also pull all their money out of the investment club.

Is investing in cooperatives risky?
All investment is risky, and to minimize risk, one primary activity of this group will involve due diligence and research on any business before we consider them for a loan.

From a traditional investor standpoint, some of the investments this club makes would be considered high risk, low reward. From a community wealth building standpoint, we will be investing in community-minded and people-first businesses whose success will benefit Front Range communities.

How does this group relate to the Colorado Co-op Study Circle?
This group is an affinity group that organized under the study circle to build off of the existing network.

Why is the minimum monthly investment amount $25?
We want this group to be accessible. Our goal in this investment club is to build our investing and decision-making skills to create a more inclusive economy.

We welcome people who have traditionally been excluded from investing and investment clubs, as well as people with extensive investment and lending experience.

Where will we meet?
We will meet each month in Denver. Our initial meeting will be at Coffee at the Point (710 E 26th Ave) in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver.

How many individuals will join the affinity group?
Based on what we have heard from other study circles in Minneapolis, Boston, and Burlington, VT, we expect to have 20-25 individuals in our group. If interest is greater, we could be larger.

How will decision-making work?
This group is not a cooperative. It is an investment club, and its activities will be accountable to state and federal securities laws.

At the same time, we will structure our decision-making like a cooperative, so that for all decisions, each member has one vote. We will use in-person voting and online voting on Loomio (http://www.loomio.com) to make decisions.

I have a large sum of money that I would love you to invest in cooperatives. Can I give that to your group and let you handle it for me?
Unfortunately, no. This group is an investment club, so all members must actively participate in its activities. Additionally, no single member will be allowed to hold more than 20% of the club's total assets, which is why there is an maximum monthly investment limit.