Banco Palmas: Solidarity Finance in Conjunto Palmeiras
De Sousa Aragao, Gabriel
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Banco Palmas is one of the early examples of solidarity finance. Emerging from a peri-urban slum in Brazil, this initiative is based on three key pillars: small, communitysanctioned loans; a local currency (to keep wealth circulating within the neighbourhood); and professional training (to generate local entrepreneurship and a skilled workforce). Participatory deliberative and decision-making spaces created by Banco Palmas include: the Local Economic Forum, Management Council, and Block Councils. In the twenty years since its founding, the impact of Banco Palmas has gone well beyond the neighbourhood of Conjunto Palmeiras. It has prompted the creation of a network of community-based banks (CDBs) across Brazil and is at the forefront of technological innovations related to ecurrencies and other financial instruments such as credit cards backed by social currencies.