Burlington Church Street at Night - Hero

Alternative Capital

Powering local investment in co-operatives and small businesses.

Find funding

Alternative funding for your unique business

Loans aren’t the only way to finance the next step in your business growth. As a member of VSECU, you’re part of a cooperative that brings people together to improve the prosperity of their communities. To that end, we have developed these two unique capital sources that can support the growth of your business.

Milk Money

Milk Money is a pioneer in local investing—the first to enable average Vermonters to invest in local entrepreneurial or small business ventures like yours. If you need capital to start or grow your business, Milk Money can help connect you with investors or set up a pre-buy campaign through their crowd-funding platform.

  • Number 1

    Contact Milk Money

    Start by reaching out to Milk Money so they can get to know you and help you get started.

  • Number 2

    Start your campaign

    Milk Money will design your campaign and supply you with a link for you to share.

  • Number 3

    Make a deal

    You will work with investors and supporters to build deals that fit your needs.

Co-op Capital

Co-op Capital at VSECU supports the development of cooperatives with long-term capital investments designed to help start new cooperative enterprises and grow established cooperative businesses. Why co-ops? Read on:

  • Hand With Plant


    Cooperative businesses are an important part of economic and community development strategy. Cooperatives are an essential component to creating a vibrant, successful economy.

  • Shield


    Co-ops bring stability to the local market. The World Council of Credit Unions found after five years in business, 90% of cooperatives were still operating, compared to 3-5% of traditional businesses.

  • Community 1


    Locally owned cooperatives offer another form of local investment, which further diversifies the risk associated with local investment. This diversification helps strengthen the local economy.

  • Hand With Heart


    Concern for community is part of the cooperative DNA. This means cooperatives are committed to the sustainable development of their communities, both socially and economically.

The impact of co-op investment

Supporting local businesses, no matter their structure, creates an economic multiplier effect. Studies show on average, 48% of each purchase at a local business is recirculated locally, compared to 14% of purchases at national businesses.

Through direct investments in cooperatives, the Co-op Capital initiative aims to foster the growth of a sustainable, locally-owned and controlled part of our economy. The initiative seeks to:

  1. Help create living-wage jobs
  2. Support a sustainable and fair food system
  3. Provide affordable housing
  4. Develop democratic workplaces and community ownership
Farmer Tilling Field in Tractor in Stowe VT - Long Form Txt

Find funding

Whether you’re seeking funding or looking to support local businesses, we invite you to join us as we continue to work toward a strong and prosperous Vermont.

Get in Touch
Contact Milk Money
Apply for a Co-op Capital investment
Download our toolkit