Associative Economics

Support Research

Independent research depends on freely donated funds.

Guarantee Mark

First established in 1998, the (ae) Guarantee Mark is designed to encourage economic undertakings based on an associative approach to economic life. With its 4 Steps and 4 Criteria, it highlights the main characteristics of an associative approach to business. It has a formal dimension, but can also be used as a means for self-auditing and giving greater effect to the ‘associativeness’ of one’s undertaking.


1: Introduction to Associative Economics

Attending the Colours of Money Seminar.

2: Preparing for the AE Mark

Sharpening the skills and understanding needed to give effect to associative economics. 

3: Matching to the AE Mark

Making any necessary changes to the capitalisation, structure, management and accounting of one's undertaking, in conjunction with at least two other like-minded undertakings.

4: Using the AE Mark 

Self-policed and self-certified, undertakings that have completed Steps 1-3 and that fulfil the 4 Criteria (see below) formally adopt the Mark.


The four Steps are designed to enable an activity to fulfil the following four Criteria:

1: Competence 

Human beings, not market forces, as the true agents of economic development. 

2: Structure 

The importance of appropriate legal, financial, and management frameworks. 

3: Accounting

Transparent and open bookkeeping as a common language and the key to responsible change.

4: Meeting

Using the medium of money-as-accounting to work associatively rather than competitively.