As discussed previously on UnionHome, Unite is mounting a challenge to payday lenders with high interest rates, with plans to establish a nationwide credit union network.
But how about the idea of unions working with peer to peer lenders, not excluding those that provide credit to small businesses?
Crowd funding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, to support a wide variety of activities including businesses. Like banks, but better.
Lancashire County Council is looking to reinvest money into businesses through a partnership with crowd funder Funding Circle.
As the Bridging and Commercial website reports:Lancashire’s 52,000 small businesses are responsible for more than 50 per cent of local private sector employment. A recent study by Funding Circle indicated the potential economic boost that could be unlocked through better access to finance and 42 per cent of small businesses in the North West stated that they would increase staff numbers if they could obtain finance.
By supporting crowd funding politically and financially, unions would be indirectly supporting their members and creating jobs should businesses be able to take out loans. And as an article on the problems faced by American food company Hostess wryly points out – union members could have a say in the running of a business, including ensuring fair work practices, if they part funded it.
Dan Whittle writes in a personal capacity