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expansion, innovation, and acquisition. Debt markets exist for the same reason so that corporations and other large enterprises, such as real estate holdings companies, can continually expand their operations.

      Equity and debt markets at the National and International level are fueled by the investment from all sectors and walks of life. Individuals often own significant shares in equity and debt financial instruments as part of their retirement investment portfolio, which often rivals their home as the most valuable source of wealth that a household owns. The collective investments of households, small businesses, foundations, and family offices provide an ample source of cash capital for larger corporates, which can most efficiently manage capital. But what about smaller business?

      Small businesses make up a large share of local economies as "local" implies an economy that is rooted in a specific geographical area and has a specified geographical reach. All local economies have small businesses such as restaurants, small manufacturers and machine shops, mom and pop retail outlets or Internet stores, digital software development or marketing agencies, etc. Typically, these small businesses are seen as stable, low-growth firms. Growth happens by providing a service or good that cannot grow exponentially because the audience of customers is too small.

      Because of this, local economies have an entirely different capital structure than National and International equities and debt markets. Lending or investing in small businesses, such as startups, is seen as risky. An investor must often shoulder most of the capital requirement of investment, unlike National and International capital markets, a topic that we will explore further throughout this book. This creates more risk for the local investor and less prospect for return. Investing in startups is currently seen as one of the riskiest forms of investing that exist and is currently not recommended for the household or individual investor.

      The differences between the capital levels present in the National and International economies compared to local economies mean that local economies do not generally have a growth mindset, capital present in these economies is unevenly distributed across geography, and the time to obtain capital is onerous on the smaller firms. Local economies outside of the major metros are floundering and they have been for decades despite some valiant attempts to right the course. But it starts with more ample capital flows to the private sector.

      Throughout the course of this book we explore the differences between how capital flows at the lower levels of the economy geographically, and throughout its counterpart, the International financial system. We find an entirely different operating space present in these two domains. International capital markets are sophisticated, manage risk through transparency and accountability, and subsequently, firms and assets perform better over time. Local economies are plagued by financial abuses and mismanagement, capital that is risk adverse and isolated in pockets geographically, and the longer-term financial decline of assets.

      As major cities along the coasts build skyscrapers, many smaller to medium-sized cities struggle with failing and collapsing infrastructure, buildings in their downtown core that have not been rehabilitated or renovated in decades. As major cities invent sprawling new industries through the capitalization of startup firms, startups in smaller to medium-sized cities are starved for capital. Entrepreneurs in these cities leave their small cities to find capital in major metros much like an actor or actress, director, or script writer would leave the small town to pursue their dreams in Hollywood. As major cities thrive culturally with creative industries, the creatives in smaller cities are unable to afford going into business for themselves because of a lack of financing and patrons for creative production. The success stories of filmmakers and startups alike are rare in smaller to medium-sized cities compared to major metros on a per capita basis.

      Most importantly, we see an entirely different business model for financial capital present between the two extremes. In smaller to medium-sized economies, there is no investment banker or similar function present. In fact, due to restrictive Series licensure requirements, investment banking activity is largely prohibited in smaller to medium-sized economies where the level of deal-flow is too low to afford the services of an investment banker or investment banking firm. In major metros investment bankers are present in all deals such as the fundraising process for corporate entities, but even in the fundraising efforts of many privately held deals. The investment banker brings an International rolodex of contacts to the deal, and the expertise to "stack" capital utilizing numerous complex financial instruments. There is no expertise in smaller to medium-sized cities that can adequately perform this function to a satisfying effect.

      Why is there not a class of investment bankers operating at the local level who can perform these functions, but in a custom way for smaller firms? Why is there not a trusted group of professionals who can help a small manufacturer structure a fundraising effort to revitalize their equipment and establish a growth plan for the next generation of ownership? These are the questions that we continually answer throughout this book.

      The book is divided into three sections. The first section lays the foundation by exploring how capital fuels the American Economy. What are local capital markets and how do they contribute to American prosperity? How do we finally establish capital markets at the local level?

      Did you know that most venture capital investment, on a per capita basis, goes to firms operating in the coasts with few exceptions? Did you know that the same startup firm operating in a small city versus one operating in a major City will get less than a third of the venture capital funding than its counterpart? How can those firms compete in a global economy? No wonder our smaller to medium-sized cities in the United States are failing to compete in the global, 21st century economy!

      In the second section, chapters 5 through 11, we explore the changing infrastructure available to support open capital markets for local economies. This changing infrastructure includes new tax incentives, new private sector capabilities such as privately held venture exchanges, and Blockchain technology allowing the exchange of equity ownership without the use of an International equity exchange.

      Innovations available in the financial services industry are staggering and will take years to make their way to society. Our comprehensive and cohesive review of these technologies and new legislatory initiatives are a must read for any economic development civil servant, politician, academic in the fields of management and economics, and private developers working in economies without an ample financial infrastructure.

      The third section explores how open capital markets will benefit society. We believe passionately that open capital markets can help increase the total level of prosperity for all residents and can improve the financial literacy of all residents to aid in the elimination of intergenerational poverty and community disinvestment. We also explore how open capital markets increases the level of transparency, accountability, and governance for local economies, a major problem and hardship associated with small businesses all over the United States of America.

      Finally, we explore in part three how the nature of entrepreneurship will change when firms have more access to capital and are required to demonstrate more ongoing transparency in the model of International financial markets. We also explore how the nature of resource allocation to development firms such as venture and entrepreneur development organizations will shape the future of local economies.

      We need a new resource for society's local economies! In this book, we explore the policy frameworks, private and public sector initiatives, and technology innovations that will lay the groundwork for open capital markets to operate at a local level and in more privately held sectors of the economy. But that is not enough. Above all else, we need a new class of investment banker that is bespoke to the needs of the private sector economy.

      A recent initiative called Opportunity Zones is an example of policy initiatives that are seeking to incentive this new type of professional to find, curate, and nurture deals at the local level. When entrepreneurs in small to medium-sized cities do not feel like they have adequate resources or the experience to scale a business globally, an investment banker must help take the reins for that firm, like all wealthy individuals, households, and corporations employ daily to help form and structure deals. The current pace of economic development, which provides "training" only, and which is not incentivized with a performance bonus or equity into the venture outside of a convertible note, is simply too slow and

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