Positive Finance: Invest in the Organic Farm that Inspired The Archers
Reader, as you are already a frequent visitor to Ethical Hedonist Magazine, you probably buy organic and local food, always look for the fair-trade label when you shop and give regularly to charity. But what about your money? Have you heard the term Positive Finance? Would you like your savings and investments to create a virtuous circle of social good whilst offering you a reasonable return? And how do you feel about using your money in more positive, transparent ways to invest sustainably in micro projects closer to home? Projects that create jobs, build affordable homes in our cities, encourage sustainable farming and revitalise entire communities? If the answer is an upbeat yes, then read on! Our aim is to banish a rather outmoded, rather dry attitude to money, savings and investments and dare to ask the question when did you last have some fun with your money, without in anyway being reckless? Alison Jane – Editor-in-Chief
This week we are running a guest column from Ethex, the positive investment and savings platform. I hope it stimulates positive ideas around money and how you could use it to invest in a exciting world where sustainable choices are becoming our future – with everything from renewal energy to educating the public about organic and biodynamic farming, at Stockwood farm – the organic farm that inspired the long-running Radio 4 soap, The Archers.
Positive Finance: How to Invest in Fairtrade and Social Impact Projects
How we use our money is one of the most powerful ways we can make a difference and create a more sustainable world. This includes the products we buy, the companies we buy from, the businesses we invest in, and the banks we trust with our money. We are used to making ethical choices about products we buy but there is now a growing movement of people that are thinking about the impact of their money.
A One-Stop Shop for Ethical Savings and Investments
Ethex is a positive investment and savings platform based in the UK where you can find a range of ethical, or positive, investment and savings products in one place: a one-stop shop for the positive or social investor. Now the top social investment platform in Europe, Ethex has now helped raise over £30 million for 55 social businesses, charities and community organisations right across the UK. Ethex has just been shortlisted for the 2016 Guardian Sustainable Business Awards in the Finance for Good category alongside Triodos and the Social Stock Exchange.
Ethical ISA’s and Bank Accounts
Positive investing is about choosing to save and invest in businesses that are changing the world for the better. On the Ethex platform (www.ethex.org.uk), you can browse, compare and invest in a range of positive investment and savings products from bank accounts and ISAs to equity investments and charity bonds and put your money in businesses you truly believe in.
Investments with a Social and Financial Return
With a financial and a social return, the benefits are good but anyone signing up needs to be aware that there are risks, and no compensation if things go wrong. You shouldn’t risk more than you can afford lose. If you are any doubt, you should consult a financial advisor.
The businesses listed on Ethex have a clear social and environmental mission at their heart and are working in areas like renewable energy, fair trade, tackling poverty, green transport, microfinance, and organic food and farming to create a more sustainable world. All products listed on Ethex offer a social and environmental return as well as financial one.
Here’s a taster of some of the businesses listed on the Ethex platform that you can invest and save with:
Oikocredit has a 40-year track record as a leading worldwide social investor. Its mission is to alleviate the conditions of the world’s poorest communities by providing credit to those who have no other means of attaining finance to start their own business; educate their children; and, ultimately, lift themselves out of poverty.
London Community Land Trust (CLT)
House prices in the capital are going up by £500 a day (The Guardian, March 16) and the case for housing that people can afford is rarely out of the headlines. In response, London CLT was set up by national charity UK to deliver genuinely and permanently affordable homes for ordinary Londoners to ensure they can stay in areas where they belong and have roots. The Land Trust is looking for investment to develop their second project to build affordable homes in Lewisham and bring forward the next phase of development of up to 100 more at the Olympic Park in north London.
Southill Community Energy
Right in the heart of David Cameron’s constituency, Southill Community Energy is looking for investment to build a 4.5MW solar farm in west Oxfordshire. It is an exemplar community project and will generate enough clean, green electricity for most of the homes in the local parish. The scheme has even been recognised by the PM: “I am very proud of my Government’s green record…The Southill Solar project is a great example of the people’s enthusiasm for this technology” (The Guardian) but he didn’t go so far as to say whether he would invest….
Stockwood Community Benefit Society
Another offer with an illustrious connection is Rush Farm, a family-run organic outfit near Redditch, Worcestershire, that inspired the long-running Radio 4 soap, The Archers. You can buy shares with expected returns of 5% or invest in the “loan stock” which has a lower return but you can claim 30% SITR, or social investment tax relief. A tax break for investing in social businesses that in many ways mirrors EIS.
For more information go to – www.ethex.org.uk