Open Capital Markets for Local Economies explores the role that capital markets, which are currently closed, could play in local economic development if they were opened for non-accredited investors.

Imagine spending fifty or a hundred USD per month investing in local infrastructure. Three years ago that would be impossible. No developer would source financing from the “crowd.”

The book summary states:

A new industry is emerging to allow for the securitization of privately held assets. This movement is part of a wave of new regulations, incentives, and recognition that American small to mid-size cities suffer from a profound shortage of risk capital.

Throughout this process, America is rediscovering the power of capital markets. Capital markets unlock capital, encourage transparency, and facilitate innovation. However, most Americans cannot participate as an investor or raise funds due to outdated securities requirements.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, followed by JOBS 3.0, allows non-accredited investors to participate in primary and secondary capital markets. The JOBS Act has sweeping implications for the real estate, small business, and private equity sectors in small to mid-size cities across the United States. The JOBS Act is only one aspect of Federal intervention. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created Opportunity Zones to encourage institutional investors to reinvest in distressed regions throughout the United States. The common thread of Federal intervention is the notion of capital markets.

Open Capital Markets for Local Economies explores the movement to create capital markets for economies in small to mid-size metros. Capital markets bring the efficiency of markets to firm-level fundraising. These efficiencies include price signaling, primary and secondary exchanges, and increased access to economic data. The book provides a glimpse into these changes that could shape the next decades of American economic growth.

CEO Will Scholz states:

“Open Capital Markets is the culmination of years of work at the local level as a freelance project manager, small business owner, and economic development practitioner.”

“Small business across sectors struggle to piece together a financially sustainable business often sacrificing years of time and their family’s financial future to succeed. Further, many would-be entrepreneurs are shut-out because they can’t afford the startups costs, including their own labor.”

“We need open capital markets to ensure an equitable economy.”