Family micro-lending in the U.S.?

The Northwest Airlines in-flight magazine has been a wealth of insight lately.  I read that Berry Gordy started Motown Records in 1959 on an $800 loan from te Ber-berry Co Op, a fund which family members each paid in $10 every month in order to make loans to launch new family business ventures.  With so many projects (and friends) being broke right now, I want to know how people are funding important work from their base.  This seems like one cool model blasting from the past.