‘Crowdfunding offers alternative to traditional investments’ , writes Rupert Jones as a lead story inThe Guardian Money on Saturday 4th May
‘Crowdfunding websites offer anyone the chance to be an armchair ‘Dragon’ – from backing a start-up business to supporting a musical..Perhaps you’re looking for something that will give you a better return than a savings account. Maybe you fancy emulating the likes of Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne by becoming “an armchair Dragon” and investing in a fledgling business that you think has the potential to grow. Or perhaps you would like to do something good for your community, such as chipping in a few pounds towards solar panels for your children’s primary school, or to support a vital local amenity……..’
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.’