Berry Gordy is known for Motown Records and business sense. We admire him—and his family—for both.  

He started his first record label, Tamla, with an $800 family loan. Rather than rely on outside help for loans, his family set up their own finance system, Ber-Berry Co-operative.  

Each family member made a monthly contribution of $10 to the fund, and loans were distributed by family vote.  

Gordy’s seed money came with a 6% interest rate and a timeline—and, according to Ron Lieber for the NyTimes, a “promissory note that included a scribbled addendum requiring him to turn over future royalties if he couldn’t make the payment within a year.” 

 

Additional Reading:

Borrowing From Your Family, by Design

Motown: The Sound That Changed America

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