Over £50 million has been raised in finance for charities and business with a social and environmental mission by Ethex, the online positive investment platform.
Founded in 2013, this non-profit organisation has since registered over 10,500 investors, helping to fund 55 different projects.
The finance raised on Ethex supports businesses that have a clear social and environmental mission at their heart and have an impact in areas like renewable energy, social care housing, organic food and farming, renovating historic buildings and microfinance in developing countries.
Lisa Ashford, CEO, Ethex, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to have passed such a magnificent milestone, particularly against a challenging backdrop last year with changes in government support and tax rules for some of the sectors we support.
“Ethex investors come from all ages and backgrounds, but they share a common desire to use their money in ways which support their own personal values, whether it’s tackling poverty, climate change or making a difference in another way. £50 million is a real vote of confidence in positive investment putting it firmly in the mainstream – and it’s something almost anyone can be part of. We think 2017 is shaping up to be a really exciting year, with new sectors to invest in and new tax reliefs, so make this the year you invest for positive good!”
During 2016, investments in community energy projects, ranging from rooftop solar panels to wind turbines, dominated on the website, although Ethex also helped raise funds for projects such as an organic food retailer in Bristol and affordable housing in London.
BHesCo is a social enterprise based in Brighton focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Kayla Ente, Director, BHESCo, said: “With the help of Ethex, BHESCo has successfully raised £286,000 from forward-thinking investors. This has enabled us to develop community owned, clean energy projects in Brighton & Hove, saving thousands of pounds for the local economy and significantly reducing carbon emissions in the city.”
Fairtrade organisation Traidcraft has been part of Ethex since it launched. Andy Biggs, Chief Operating Officer, Traidcraft, said: “The money raised through Ethex has enable Traidcraft to create an £11m trading business which benefits producers through sales of products in the UK, and created the organisational infrastructure to steward a charity that benefits over 500,000 people in developing countries a year.”
The total number of investors registered with Ethex is 10,503. They include people like Brenda Boardman from Oxford, who said: “I want to get closer to my investments, and I don’t want lots of middlemen making decisions on my behalf that I possibly won’t agree with. In my head renewables are such a no brainer. I mind less having the weather affect my investments than the vagaries of the City!”
Ethex currently has three new offers live on the website:
- Leeds Community Homes, raising £360,000 to fund 16 permanently affordable homes in the centre of Leeds through a share offer with an expected return of 2% from 2020 onwards.
- Gawcott Fields raising £1.1 million to fund an operational 4.17MW solar farm near Buckingham through a 20-year bond with an expected average return of 6% a year.
- Orchard Community Energy raising £1.2 million to fund an operational 5 MW solar farm in Kent through a 3-year bond paying 5.5% annual interest.
Investors can also choose to invest in a range of other products and businesses through Ethex’s secondary market. Visit https://www.ethex.org.uk to find out more.