Impact Crowdfunding – Good Deeds In A Wicked World
One of the trends in the burgeoning United Kingdom crowdfunding market has been the arrival of specialist platforms focusing on ventures delivering social, environmental or scientific benefits.
The emerging players include Abundance Generation, which has so far facilitated the funding of five renewable energy projects within the UK. On this platform, investors commit cash via 20-25 year transferrable debentures (debt instruments) and these can be bought and sold via the site.
Meanwhile, equity crowdfunding platform Crowdmission.com specialises in ventures offering an “an obvious benefit to society, health or the environment.” Or to put it another way, businesses that make a difference. Once again, green energy is a major theme but the remit runs to scientific projects and businesses supporting charitable activity.
In some cases, the line is blurred between Kickstarter-style donations-based crowdfunding and more commercial models. For instance, Buzzbnk.org – which supports a range of socially beneficial projects – is primarily a donations platform, but businesses or projects can also raise funding from the community via repayable loans.
Crowdmission.com entrepreneur Karen Darby believes there is a real appetite for investment opportunities that combine the potential of a return with involvement in a project that will deliver beneficial outcomes. “I think what we’re seeing is a new generation of entrepreneurs who are interested in starting businesses that will have a social impact but they also want to be able to benefit personally. Equally, I believe there are investors who want to become involved with companies delivering a social good but who want to see a return.”