RADICAL GIVING AND ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS
a post-Wes conversation with Brendan Martin ’95
hosted by Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Wednesday, May 1
Lunch will be provided, and registration is required. If you are unavailable to attend the lunch at noon but you are interested in meeting Brendan while he is on campus, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
After graduating from Wesleyan with a degree in economics and a specific interest in issues of poverty and economic opportunity, Brendan Martin ’95 started his career as a general manager at a Wall Street information firm. A few years later, he decided to change gears, and using his personal savings, he founded the “La Base” Loan Fund and The Working World, a non-profit which supports fledgling cooperatives and underrepresented workers in Argentina, Nicaragua, and ultimately in the United States. The Working World partners with workers’ cooperatives, helps them with their business plans, and offers other services. It has now made more than 600 loans, worth over $3 million, to some 100 cooperatives, ranging from metal-working to honey-gathering groups.
Brendan believes that cooperatives can be successful if they have access to supportive finance. His vision is to create large scale, dependable financing for a democratic economy in the U.S. and work toward a new system that values people above profits.
So far, Brendan’s “radical” economic model is proving to be a success: The repayment rate on Working World loans is a staggering 98%, and their approach is at the center of the heated debate about the role of finance in our economy after the 2008 financial collapse and about the challenges to traditional models of development.
Image: via The Working World