Open Capitalist Network
Zopa describes itself this way:
Zopa loans – unsecured and very personal
Personal Loans and Car Loans are amongst the most popular uses for our lenders' money. Our interest rates are set by our lenders - ordinary people, just like you. The typical rate is 7.6%APR on a £5,000 loan over 3 years in the A* market.
Top 5 loan types
Home Improvement Loan
Short Term Loan
What the countereconomy needs, especially, is social lending of the type that Grameen pioneered: the provision of capital for production in the household, subsistence, self-employment and cooperative sectors.
In the peer-to-peer field, a major topic of discussion is the organizational forms necessary to organize physical production on a peer basis. There are a number of proposals for peer governance models, for example, at the P2P Foundation.
In this light, Darren Vandervort's Open Capitalist Project seems quite promising. It's a networking project to put potential contributors in contact with those who need startup capital. Here's the general idea of how it works:
The goal of Open Capitalist is to provide a framework for the creation of socially responsible companies. Furthermore, we want to provide a place where individuals can contribute to projects they believe in and earn a profit doing what they enjoy.
Traditionally someone starting a company would require a substantial capital investment to pay for the services and equipment that the start-up requires. We want to drastically reduce this start-up capital requirement by providing a way for contributors to supply the required services in exchange for compensation. Due to the nature of these companies, compensation will vary greatly, and can be provided in various ways. But the form of compensation will be clearly stated. The purpose of this is to make it very visible if someone is merely trying to make a huge profit based on the labor of others.
In the interest of full disclosure, the projects will also clearly state the intended distribution of profits. There is not a set limitation on where these profits can go. You can state that you will take all profits, and offer zero compensation to the contributors that help get your start-up going. What would be expected though, is that you would not receive much help from contributors; therefore, this would be the regulating factor. The end result is that the community determines what is a fair amount of profit taking.
In order to create a self-sufficient system, some consideration should be given back to other projects that are in the formative development stages. For example, I have posted a project describing a web-based remote machining company. This company makes a profit by charging an hourly fee for the use of the machines to prototype their designs. One of the stated distributions of profit is back to other Open Capitalist Projects in the form of free prototyping services. If there is a Project that is designing a mechanical product, free prototyping would be a huge benefit, making them all the more likely to succeed.
Possible methods of contribution include not only the donation of money, but participation in the projects, and bartering of one's own services. As an example of the latter, one of Vandervort's proposals is a web-based prototyping and machining project, which offers its services free to contributors. Some of the other projects can be found here.