Triodos, the sustainable bank, has launched a crowdfunding platform to increase access to impact investments for regular investors.
As the annual “ISA season” begins to ramp up and investment platforms vie for investors’ £20,000 annual allowance, Triodos launches with a solar bond offer paying 5 per cent a year, which investors can put in an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). The IFISA allowance is part of the overall annual ISA allowance, in which investors can shelter up to £20,000 a year tax-free.
The offer for Mendip Renewables on the Triodos crowdfunding platform aims to raise £1.8 mn by 31 March, to take a 5MW operational solar farm in Somerset into community ownership. Investors can earn 5 per cent interest per year, increasing in line with the annual retail price index, repayable over 17 years. An estimated £1.4mn of profit will be given to a community benefit scheme over the life of the project.
Money can be a hugely powerful form of democracy if invested directly into renewable energy, social housing, charities or social enterprises
Bevis Watts, Triodos Bank UK managing director
The move comes after a High Level Expert Group for the European Union recommended that EU countries adopt guidelines on sustainable finance to stabilise economies. Triodos specialises in raising finance for social and environmental organisations and in the last 15 years, has raised more than £130mn to fund more than 50 projects that have a positive impact.
Previously, investors interested in accessing Triodos’s range of bond and share offers on behalf of sustainable companies looking for finance would have had to contact the bank directly for each offer prospectus. Now investors can log on to www.triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk to see the range of sustainable companies seeking investment.
People can typically invest as little as £500 – some offers will have lower investment minimums – in established charities or businesses that have been extensively screened by Triodos for positive social and environmental impacts.
Bevis Watts, Triodos UK managing director, says: “Money can be a hugely powerful form of democracy if invested directly into renewable energy, social housing, charities or social enterprises. Social investment needs to be more accessible to UK investors, who increasingly recognise the power of money to create change. In this way, everyday investors can make a positive choice to shape the world they want to live in.”
Good With Money has launched the #NicerISA campaign to encourage ISA investors to put their money into funds and businesses that have a positive impact this year, whether that’s through an IFISA or a traditional stocks and shares ISA (you can read the Good Investment Review for fund ideas).