Great Idea! National Clean Energy Credit Union Launches Soon

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TESTINGby Amanda Bybee One day in late 2013, Blake Jones was feeling disillusioned. As a cofounder of Namaste Solar in Boulder, Colorado, he was well versed in the world of solar finance. He couldn’t, however, seem to find a financing option that was both aligned with his company’s values AND that offered competitive terms in the solar market. And so he began researching the possibility of simply opening a financial institution himself. After looking into starting a loan fund or a bank, he became very excited about the credit union model. Credit unions are democratically owned, nonprofit financial cooperatives that serve an identified community. They provide a vehicle for members of that community to pool their money and then use it to make loans to other members. The appeal of the cooperative structure was strong – having started two other coops, he could personally attest to the merits of the model. "Namaste Solar became an employee-owned coop in 2011, and it has been very successful for us. We believe that having an ownership stake in the company results in our employee-owners being uniquely motivated to provide great customer service and workmanship," he explains. "Similarly, when we cofounded the Amicus Solar […]

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