Community Bank Concept Wins International Award
25 November 2004 at 12:11 pm
Australia’s Bendigo Community Bank concept has received an international innovation award.
The 2004 Social Innovations Awards, given by the Global Ideas Bank (aka the Institute for Social Inventions) was announced this month in the UK.
The Financial Social Innovations Award for 2004 was awarded to the Bendigo Community Bank concept for its innovative franchising program.
Under the original scheme, rural communities, who are often the first to suffer from branch closures, become franchisees of the bank, providing them with the resources, technology and expertise of a major bank, but with local ownership and control. This, in turn, gives local residents and businesses a major incentive to use the branch services, ensuring its viability for the long-term.
The first pilot branches were set up in Rupanyup and Minyip in Victoria in 1998 and the concept has now been taken up by many metropolitan communities.
Community Bank statistics:
– 136 Community Bank branches throughout Australia
– Another 30 Community Bank branches to open this financial year.
– 70 of these companies are in profit.
– The creation of 700 jobs.
– More than $2 million returned from branch profits to community projects.
– More than $1.5 million returned in shareholder dividends.
– Combined Community Bank business of $5 billion.
The Judges for the 2004 awards were
– Joanna Brown, head of creativity, fro the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit
– Mark Davies, co-ordinator of the Grassroots Innovation Network
– Michael Norton, founder of the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action
– Adam Short, of “Changemakers” and “Young People Change the World”
-James Smith, social sector consultant (Monkey Mosaic)
The Global Ideas Bank’s origins lie in the Institute for Social Inventions, which was set up in 1985 by Nicholas Albery, social inventor and visionary. From small beginnings (a network of inventors, and a quarterly newsletter), the Institute grew into a fully-fledged organisation under his leadership: producing an annual compendium, running social inventions workshops and promoting creative solutions around the world.
In 2001, the Institute was awarded a Margaret Mead Special Recognition Award for “community creativity for a new century”
In 1995, the Global Ideas Bank was first established online, and has since become the name for the entire project’s work.
The Global Ideas Bank is a Not for Profit website that is part suggestion box, part networking tool, part democratic think-tank and part inspirational entertainment!
It gives out annual Social Invention Awards to the finest ideas of the year in various categories. The overall winner receives £1000, while the others reap the benefit of the publicity and exposure they receive as a result.