Freeform finance

According to Richard Duvall, former co-founder of Egg, and now co-founder of Zopa, the borrowing and lending exchange, ...

March 8, 2005

According to Richard Duvall, former co-founder of Egg, and now co-founder of Zopa, the borrowing and lending exchange, we are all freeformers - making our own decisions, seizing control, making a difference.

The portfolio lifestyles long-envisaged by Charles Handy & Co are now coming to fruition. Apparently, one in 18 people started their own business last year alone!

I have written about this freeform ‘Me plc’ ethos at Steal This Brand before , and it does have some social risks. Some sort of mutualist overlay is required, to avoid the long-descent into self-centred greed and the erosion of trust.

However, I believe Zopa, can and will square this circle. Their determination to create mutual accountability seems genuine. We, the people can regain control of our financial well being. By investing in one another.

Here’s what some other famous Freeformers are saying about the business…up and running as of today. Try it out.

Alpesh Patel – founder of Tradermind, best-selling author and non-practising barrister

“There’s been a significant attitudinal shift in the last 50 years, a trend towards entrepreneurialism and risk-taking, and Zopa is a reflection of that. In a way, you could argue that Zopa creates a new asset class, a new way of investing – we’ve been borrowers before, but we’ve never directly been the lender.”

Simon Woodroffe – founder of YO! Sushi and the YO! family of businesses

“Zopa is going to catch people’s imaginations. People will say, ‘If you can do that what else can you do?’ Peer-to-peer lending is not new, but Zopa opens it up. There’s a bit of us as human beings that would love to get rid of the fat cat banks.”


Zenna Atkins – social entrepreneur

Personally, my fire gets lit if there’s a social objective to something. With Zopa, there’s a real potential for expansion, but what excites me is the person-to-person relationship… A mechanism that allows intergenerational lending, for instance, is something I find very interesting – older people investing in the new generation. For me, Zopa is about creating different types of sustainable relationship.”

Charles Dunstone – founder, chairman and CEO of Carphone Warehouse

“The nice thing about Zopa is that it is just incredibly simple….. Zopa is absolutely fascinating and a reflection of people turning their backs on institutions. I think people are much more open than ever before to try something new, a new model. I think people will find Zopa very appealing, provided they make it secure and people feel confident enough to use it.”

Barefoot Doctor – healer, author and entrepreneur

“In the things I do, I like the excitement of them, the pioneering spirit, a bit of a maverick sensibility. I think Zopa would be a fun way to invest my money.”

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