Crowdfunding can be an exciting way to get involved with funding environmental businesses with the hope of getting something back. The following platforms offer equity stakes in early-stage businesses in return for cash, often in the form of an an annual yield – like an interest rate.
Crowdfunding is higher risk, meaning you probably shouldn’t stake your pension on it, but there’s always the chance you’ll pick a winner for yourself and for the environment.
Triodos launched its peer-to-peer crowd-funding site, Triodos Crowdfunding, in February 2018, becoming the first bank to do so. The pioneering sustainable bank has already raised more than £167 million for more than 70 impact projects across 43 organisations. The website features a handpicked selection of environmental and social impact projects from solar projects to wood recycling initiatives to local breweries. Triodos also has its own Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), helping you to keep gains tax free – as well as Good.
Investing doesn’t get more grass-roots impact than the projects funded by Ethex. Since inception, 15,000 investors using the platform have funnelled £70 million into 70 environmental and social impact projects. This collective effort has, Ethex claims, funded the construction of nine new care facilities, given 50,000 homes access to affordable energy while saving 111,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions every year. The site regularly features new offers, including bonds with Energise Africa – a pioneering project providing solar panels for rural communities throughout Africa. Like Triodos, Ethex offers an IFISA for eligible bonds.
Crowdcube merged with Seedrs in October 2020 creating one of the world’s largest private equity market places. Since 2011, around £2 billion has been invested in campaigns on Crowdcube and Seedrs. Together they have helped more than 1,500 companies secure investment, including Monzo, Brewdog, Revolut, Perkbox. Crowdcube also supports a range of renewable energy and small social start-ups – from innovative plastic recycling firms to apps helping businesses reduce waste and energy efficient AI on farms. Fund the future here.
Abundance is focussed on raising capital for larger-scale renewable energy infrastructure, having raised around £110.2 million for 46 projects since 2012, which have also paid out more than £31 million in returns for faithful investors. The platform features a range of projects – from biomass reactors to wind farms to tidal wave projects with many targeting annual returns in excess of five per cent. Timeframes vary, however projects can be very long term – up to 20 years, for example. Like all of the above options, only long term investors dedicated to doing good with their money should apply.