Finance News: Co-op lending fund gives out £500k by its second birthday

Co-operative Action, the loan fund set up to help co-ops, mutuals and social enterprises, has now loaned more than £500,000 since its creation in 2002.

The fund's latest round of loan approvals has taken the total to £517,000 in less than two years.

"Despite the risks that we are prepared to take, we have, so far, had no bad debts," said Sarah Lees, secretary of the Co-operative Action Management Group. "We support people when they need it and, in return, everyone repays on time."

The fund recently changed its lending criteria to allow larger loans and deferred-capital repayment terms. It now offers loans up to £75,000 with interest as low as the base rate.

Co-operative Action has also received its first three loan repayments.

These include a £20,000 loan to Welsh organic meat marketing co-operative Cambrian Organics, and a £40,000 loan to the Social Enterprise Partnership.

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