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Crowdlending as a Socially Innovative Corporate Financial Instrument

International Perspectives on Crowdfunding

ISBN: 978-1-78560-315-0, eISBN: 978-1-78560-314-3

Publication date: 20 July 2016



Crowdfunding is an emergent practice that is increasing exponentially as a means of financing to complement company capital. This chapter focuses on an innovative way of organizing peer-to-peer lending, known as crowdlending. The characteristics of crowdlending are social reward or interest and using the Internet as a medium for communication, prospection and raising funds. To fill the gap in the literature in this regard, this chapter addresses the following questions: Can crowdfunding be considered as a feasible conventional financial tool? What makes crowdlending work? Is it possible to apply the mutual cash holding (MCH) model to crowdlending as well as to previous examples such as the Mondragon Corporation and Trocobuy?


We use three cases (Mondragon Corporation, Trocobuy and Arboribus) to highlight financial tools that use the concept of stakeholder theory that is based on the collaborative management of cash surpluses. Using the Delphi technique combined with in-depth interviews we demonstrate the contribution of the MCH model to crowdlending. We show that the model could be applied to different organizations, thereby indicating its robustness and implying that it could be used in many other cases.


The present study suggests that crowdlending describes a new financing tool as a principal form of lending; it enables companies to implement a financial tool that allows for social development and stakeholder participation and that can ensure companies’ financial sustainability.

Practical implications

This model is based on six elements: expectations of mutual benefits, trust, management, guarantees, mutual profit and benefit. It suggests mutual benefit and positive social values for all stakeholders. However, cash surpluses will be efficiently used only when crowdlending is relevant to investors’ economic objective, because crowdlending as a social innovation does not in itself guarantee economic benefit.


The chapter provides evidence of crowdlending in practice. The research compares key cases in which the MCH model is applied. It also provides important insights into crowdlending as a social innovation.




The authors are grateful to MAPFRE, Robin Cosgrove Prize, Foro de Gestión y Finanzas, Mondragon Corporation, Trocobuy, Arboribus and ASSET for their insightful comments. We would like to thank Dave Passingham for English editing and his helpful comments, as well. Moreover, the chapter has been possible because of the great effort and the enthusiasm of the editors: Isabelle Maque, Jérôme Méric and Julienne Brabet This work is part of the research group ECRI Ethics in Finance and Social Value. Stakeholders Responsibility (GIU 12/58) and it is supported by UPV/EHU research project (EHUA 12/04) and FESIDE (BOPV 20.01.2014).


San-Jose, L. and Retolaza, J.L. (2016), "Crowdlending as a Socially Innovative Corporate Financial Instrument", Méric, J., Maque, I. and Brabet, J. (Ed.) International Perspectives on Crowdfunding, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-149.



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