New Board and Community Service Contributions On April 19th the Bangladesh Business Network had their first official board elections and ratified their statues. They also voted on the use of their community funds. When each member is registered to join the network they receive 200 Bangla-Pesa and another 200 Bangla-Pesa is added to the community fund backed by their goods and services. The community fund consists of each 170 members dues of 200 Bangla-Pesa each minus those used for administrative purposes – such as networking exercises.
Community funds were given to both environmental and health organizations in the community. A community environmental and waste collection team was awarded 2,000 Bangla-Pesa as was a group of Community Heath Workers. These funds will be used by the members of those groups to purchase goods and services at the shops of the network members. This way the network is helping to support their community through their own goods and services.
Networking Our networking team led by Alfred Sigo has been working to knit the community businesses together. Beyond having a means of exchange to trade among each other there is a lot of work to make sure there is a thriving market in which everyone is aware of each others' offers and wants. In a more efficient market less and less currency is needed to facilitate daily trade. For this purpose we continue to visit each member of the network and connect them with new customers. We've been slowly generating the following map of businesses in the community – once it is done we will create a sign board to help people know where to use their Bangla-Pesa.
Kangemi-Pesa? – Nairobi Last week Will Ruddick was invited to Kangemi, an informal settlement in Nairobi, where a group of local schools together with Nyendo-Learning Hand in Hand are taking their first steps in replicating the Bangla-Pesa program. We are excited to see another community benefit from enabling themselves to issue and manage their own community currency. We are also happy to be talking with professors of economics from the University of Nairobi on studying these programs.