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Big Society Capital To Partner With Crowdfunder, Ethex And ThinCats In New Crowd Match Fund

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Crowd by James Cridland via flickr

Three of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the UK will join Big Society Capital in a unique £10 million Crowd Match Fund which will allow the public to invest directly into charities and social enterprises.

Crowdfunder, Ethex and ThinCats (through Community Chest) will help connect people with the causes they really care about by listing social sector organisations who want to raise debt and equity finance.

The £10 million fund will see Big Society Capital match crowdfunded investments made by individuals into Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) eligible charities and social enterprises. It will be the first of its

kind to match different investments made by the public across the social sector. Private investors will qualify for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), which offers a 30% tax break.

The Chancellor recently announced an increase in the amount that younger charities and social enterprises can raise through SITR to £1.5 million from April 2017.

Ben Warren, Investment Associate at Big Society Capital, said:

“This fund marks a totally new approach for social investment and crowdfunding. By bringing together the experience and knowledge of these three partners we want to open up opportunities for the public to invest in a huge variety of causes they feel passionate about.

“We hope that this initiative will help charities and social enterprises to find new routes to investment which could offer better value and engagement from their local community. We know that donation-based crowdfunding was the fastest growing model of alternative finance in 2015, and we are excited about the potential for this fund to create similar momentum in the social investment sector.”

Recent Nesta research shows that the UK alternative finance sector grew by 84% in 2015, with £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations.

Kevin Caley, CEO of Community Chest (and founder of the ThinCats platform), said:

” By providing loans to enterprising projects with a clear mandate for social good, Big Society Capital has provided an exciting new source of finance for social enterprises and charities, many of whom have struggled for funding during recent years.

This makes it the perfect partner for ThinCats, and Community Chest in particular, which connects investors in search of financial returns with social enterprises in need of funding. By doing so Community Chest is providing a tax-efficient way to make a difference in the community, allowing private investors the opportunity to support a good cause while potentially earning a return on their investment. The new Crowd Match Fund is a real step change for social funding and could become the lifeblood for dozens of social projects in the years to come.”

Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of Crowdfunder said:

“This is going to be a game changer for groups looking to do Community Share offers. We know from Crowdfunder’s experience that matching can supercharge campaigns and that for every pound of matched funds for

reward-based crowdfunding, it levers in £4 from the public. For community groups with big plans and projects, in our experience community shares are the main way they’ll fund those, and being able to incentivise their supporters to invest will be a fantastic addition.”

Lisa Ashford, CEO of Ethex said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Big Society Capital to roll out this innovative match fund scheme to help social enterprises find the finance they need to grow and flourish. This scheme will encourage more people to invest in businesses they believe in so they can have a direct connection with their money. Having raised close to £50m in investment for organisations that have a positive impact on the world, we can’t wait to make more money do good.”

The platforms deploying the fund on their sites will allow the public to invest directly in charities and social enterprises, and make use of SITR. SITR enables individuals to gain personal tax reliefs, which can include income tax at 30% of the amount invested, capital gains disposal and hold-over relief.

Matt Fountain, who raised investment through SITR for his social enterprise Freedom Bakery, says the new fund will make a huge difference to charities and social enterprises:

“I think we will see a fast increase in the number of deals being made through crowdfunding platforms and the fund is going to be a very powerful tool for communities and social enterprises to raise investment.

If crowdfunding has been the democratising of money, then the SITR match fund is the democratising of investment. The magic of crowdfunding in this way is that it will not only bring in much needed investment but it will unite communities and bring the public far closer to the causes they seek to support.”

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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