07 / 1993
Macrocredit was founded in 1987. It operates at national level. It collects savings from members of Macro cooperative, an organization promoting macrobiotic products and macrobiotic culture. The cooperative is presently publishing and material on topics such as ecology, macrobiotics, nutrition, philosophy etc. Macrocredit wants to use its members savings to support economic and pacifist projects: "a serious contribution to promote activities to bring about economic and social changes; a way of being more responsible in our actions including the use of money in accordance with one’s own ideals". Macrocredit therefore aims to create an alternative network in order to attract savings to be used to support small enterprises and projects with alternative aimss. First it wants to make use of small savings, repaying savers with very convenient interest rates. It has a social capital of 15 Million lire (around 10,000 US $). It has 50 individual and 5 collective members and a savings fund of 100 Million lire (around 67,000 US $).
Members can directly control and direct how their savings are used. They can individually decide their interest rates. Members of Macrocredit propose projects to be financed and these are discussed collectively. All members also have access to Macrocredit services and consultancy on fiscal, administratative, legal and information matters.
Macrocredit finances projects in the field of publications, children’s education, research and documentation (Documentation and Research Centre for the Prevention of Illness and for Peace), ecology, green tourism, macrobiotics, biological agriculture and craftwork. A direct and trustful relation with cooperatives and organizations running these projects exists in place of formal guarantees of repayment. In principle there are no limitations on the size of a loan.
Macrocredit staff are divided into working groups according to their skills and the geographical areas and subject matter which interest them. Including those employed by the Macro publishing group there are 5 paid staff (with a salary of around 1 Million lire, approx.670 US $)). Macrocredit workers regularly attend coordination meetings and meetings to exchange information.
Macrocredit has stable relations with Confesercenti for consultancy work on accountancy and administration and with an publishing agency.
Macrocredit workers are pretty satisfied with the overall situation of the cooperative. However in the near future they must cope with debts with banks and an improvement in the management of Macrocredit.
Translated by Alessio Surian. Macro editing group has published "Soldidarietà, il risparmio autogestito", by Luca Davico, an outline of alternative financing scheme in the Northern countries.
DAVICO, Luca, IRED NORD, IRED NORD, 1993 (ITALY)
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