Crowdfunding offers alternative to traditional investments

Community co-ops

There are always lots of community ventures looking for backers. Over the past couple of years Guardian Money has featured a number of these “community co-operatives”, which typically aim to bring vital amenities back to life, secure the future of valued local businesses or generate renewable energy.

We’ve written about pubs, shops, a housing co-op, a music venue and many others. Often there is an opportunity for people to invest in them by buying shares. Some offer a return in the form of interest while, with others, the rewards are described as social rather than financial. They may not necessarily be listed on a snazzy crowdfunding website but they certainly fit into the model.

Schemes currently seeking finance include Ecodynamic, a community-owned enterprise where profits will be reinvested in renewable energy, biodynamic food and farming as well as providing a “fair rate” of financial return – projected at 3% per annum in years one to three and rising to 5% by year four – for investor members.

The share offer, to finance a wind turbine in Redruth, Cornwall, has been extended until 24 May.

Source: The Guardian, Friday 3 May 2013 – Rupert Jones

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