I think loanstock is a great option, and has served the likes of Unicorn Grocery in Manchester very well, enabling them to buy their premises and grow. But it is seen by the investor as a low risk investment.
In recent weeks (in the Solidfund Loomio and elsewhere) there’s been plenty of discussion about the gap that exists, especially for start-ups, between the bit where members’ own capital and a few quid from friends and family enables them to get going, and the point at which they have sufficient traction to approach the likes of https://coopfinance.coop, who, whilst their offer if coop-friendly, it ain’t cheap and the minimum loan is something like £10K.
Where the proposal fits, Solidfund might just decide to donate, as it did recently to a start-up in Belfast. That’s just for worker co-ops of course. And if you are start-up multi-stakeholder platform cooperative looking for £250K you are going to be struggling, even with a solid business plan, simply becuase it’s seen as high risk (and probably is). A private sector outfit would be looking for VC money, but that won’t fit a cooperative model very comfortably.
Maybe we need a co-op version of something like http://purpose.capital/en/ ?