Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Community currencies

Grassroots Financial Innovations for Inclusive Economic Growth

Programme Director: Ester Barinaga

Community currencies, in common with other grassroots innovations, build on the idea that marginalised people hold the key to their own solutions Accordingly, community currency initiatives focus on mobilising local resources and designing governance structures that empower the community. Communities, that is, are the driving force, not merely the target beneficiary.

Grassroots Financial Innovations for Inclusive Economic Growth 

The project Grassroots Financial Innovations for Inclusive Economic Growth (GFIIEG) aims to investigate the governance practices, impacts and diffusion of grassroots innovations, which are developing financial and monetary infrastructures for inclusive economic growth. The research are focusing on low-income micro-entrepreneurs and civil society organisations delivering critical services and goods in urban informal settlements in African countries.

It is informed by the case of community currencies in the informal settlements of Kenya’s three major cities Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu.

Running throughout four years, the project will use a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, all within a participatory action research approach.

The qualitative part of the project builds on collaborations with resident associations and community-based organisations in three informal settlements in Kisumu (Nyalenda, Manyatta and Obunga), the local non-profit Grassroots Economics Foundation, and the Kisumu County Council.

The project brings together monetary and grassroots innovation studies in interdisciplinary research, contributing to the development and diffusion of financial and monetary infrastructures for urban informal settlements, and indicating a novel route for social enterprise and development aid.


Ester Barinaga

Juan Ocampo

Michael Oloko (Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST))

Charles Ondoro (JOOUST & Maseno University)

Will O. Ruddick (Grassroots Economics Foundation)

María José Zapata Campos (Gothenburg University & Copenhagen Business School)

This project is partially financed by DANIDA.