The FairShares Labs will be incubation hotspots based on the principles of equal cooperation between Founder, Labour, User and Investor members. Customer-oriented initiatives will be linked to sustainable development goals on the one hand and social inclusion on the other. Citizens can work together with experts to initiate and organise social innovations, and social/blue enterprises, that tackle problems in their working and living environments.
The five key principles are:
- Wealth and power sharing amongst primary stakeholders
- Specification of social purposes and auditing of social impacts
- Ethical review of the choices of products/services offered
- Ethical review of production and retailing processes
- Social democratic ownership, governance and management.
Read more on the FairShares Association website.
The FairShares economy is one in which all who contribute to the creation of wealth have a legal and moral right share in it and participate in decisions on how to invest it. Three types of investment create wealth: investment of ﬁnancial and economic capital (committing money and resources); investment to build social capital (attracting customers and building supply chains); investment of human and intellectual capital by labour (developing skills and generating ideas). It further recognises the special role of entrepreneurial labour (often providing all three investment types) and grants Founder members a protected right to shape power and wealth-sharing arrangements during their lifetime.
AnyShare Society, the world’s ﬁrst internet-based FairShares company calls itself the “complete cooperative”. The FairShares Model is a philosophy and methodology for redesigning companies, cooperatives, associations and partnership to fully recognise and reward entrepreneurs (founders), workforce members (labour), customers (users) and the creators/providers of ﬁnancial capital (investors). We recognise that wealth comes from the quality of the interactions between the producers and users of various products and services, and not solely from the provision of ﬁnancial capital. So founders, labour, users and investors can have shares which grant them three rights: Firstly, a fair share of any proﬁts; secondly, a fair and formal vote on matters of policy or governance and; thirdly, democratic management processes such as social audits that engage all stakeholders. They can participate in the everyday decision-making of the enterprise.
FairShares Labs project will offer many tools and materials for training, learning, cooperation, creating and implementing FairShares enterprise:
● a methodology and handbook with background material and practical guidelines on how to develop and implement a FairShares Lab
● an interactive cooperating working tool which guides the four stakeholder groups and the individual FairShares Lab through the process of generating a social enterprise idea, developing a business plan and starting an enterprise
● a self- and blended-learning training tool for social enterprise developers generally and other people interested in starting and leading their own FairShares Lab.
● an interactive E-learning and exchange platform (website) housing dynamic online courses, providing the means and medium for communication and cooperation between the partners as well as learners and the community. The platform enables sharing of project related materials and information.
The FairShares Model conceptualises four primary stakeholders who interact to create the success of any enterprise. The four member (stakeholder) groups are:
Founders: the people/organisations who start the enterprise. Founder members qualify for membership by virtue of being a founder of the enterprise (i.e. are signatories to the documents that bring the organisation into existence). In a FairShares Company or Cooperative, Founder members are allocated Founder Shares.
Labour: people/organisations who make the goods/services offered by the enterprise. Labour members qualify for membership by virtue of a qualifying labour contribution. In a FairShares Company or Cooperative, Labour members are allocated Labour Shares and can qualify for Investor Shares when a surplus is generated.
Users: people/organisations who use or buy goods and services from the enterprise. User members qualify for membership by virtue of a qualifying user contribution. In a FairShares Company or Cooperative, User members are allocated User Shares and can qualify for Investor Shares when a surplus is generated.
Investors: people/organisations who create or contribute ﬁnancial capital. Investor members qualify for membership by virtue of creating or contributing ﬁnancial capital. In a FairShares Company or Cooperative, Investor members are allocated Investor Shares.
In practice, the labels that are given to each member group (stakeholder) can change to reflect context.