Economic development co-op using democratic ownership to tackle inequality and the climate emergency secures funds for growth

A worker co-operative has secured a loan from Co-op Loan Fund as they continue their multi-layered approach to strategic economic development powered by democratic ownership.

Stir to Action was founded as an online publisher in 2012 platforming new ideas and debate around economic alternatives. Over the past decade it has developed into a national infrastructure body for economic development, focussing on using democratic ownership to transform inequality, the climate emergency and political culture.

Stir To Action Festival – Photography by Pete Millson

The worker co-op has a multi-layered approach with three broad strands of work focusing on direct economic development programmes, research & policy influence, and providing business support. Stir to Action also publish STIR, a much-admired quarterly magazine, and host a popular festival of new economic ideas every year.

Co-op Loan Fund were delighted to provide a loan to Stir to Action to help with working capital as the worker co-op continues to grow and expand their profile. Kevin Lloyd-Evans, Lending and Relationship Manager at Co-op Loan Fund said: “Stir to Action are emerging as a key player in supporting and promoting co-operative working through their support programmes, events, network building and publishing. There is a natural fit between the aims of Co-op Loan Fund and the work of Stir to Action. It is great to see Stir to Action growing and developing as an organisation. We hope this loan will help sustain the success achieved with our first loan.”

Stir To Action Festival – Photography by Pete Millson

Stir to Action have a vast catalogue of successful projects, social consultancy contracts and development programmes to their name. Recent projects include Alternative Business Models – a training course designed to increase knowledge and capacity around alternative business models, the ABCs of the New Economy toolkit – a practical primer and event guide to support community-led organisations across the UK, and research and strategy projects with organisations including the London Borough of Hackney and Local Trust.

“Support from the Co-op Loan Fund has been vital to our growth and success over the last decade, and we are delighted that they will be doing so again with this new arrangement.” said Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, Managing Director of Stir to Action. “Co-operatives in particular are often not served well by mainstream finance and lenders, which can hinder the growth of the sector, making the work of the Co-op Loan Fund even more important.”

Worker-owned co-ops can provide sustainability, equality and equity to members providing fair work at a time when it is greatly needed. Co-op Loan Fund provides an altogether different route to ethical loan finance for worker co-ops across the UK with unsecured loans and no personal guarantees up to £85,000 with ongoing advice and support and no set lending terms. Visit to find out more about our services and the co-operatives we work with.

You can keep up to date with Stir to Action by visiting their website.

Unique lending: to co-ops, from co-ops.