Good Money Week: Positive investment market hits £3.25bn

Global investments in funds and projects that benefit the environment and society are rapidly outpacing traditional markets, growing by one-third over the past two years to £3.25bn.

According to a new report released in line with the launch of Good Money Week today (18 October), the UK ‘positive investment’ sector is up from £140m to £249m, a 78% increase since 2012.

The brightest-spot of the positive investment boom has been the smaller direct investment sector, which consists of community share issues, bonds issued by charities and equity in a small number of public companies set up with the intention of delivering social and environmental benefits.

Around 1.7 million people now participate in the positive investing sector, although 1.52 million of these are relatively passive as credit union members while around 170,000 make other positive savings and investments.


Unstoppable movement

Ethex founder Jamie Hartzell said: “A growing number of people are taking control of their money and making it do good, choosing to save and invest directly in businesses that deliver not only a financial return but also demonstrable benefit to society.

“Positive investing is emerging as a broad and unstoppable movement, a popular response to the financial crisis. People today want a more direct and immediate relationship with financial institutions that can be trusted, and that are transparent and accountable.”

The report was released to coincide with Good Money Week, running from 19-25 October.

The hotspots:

Direct positive investment into local communities is being led by 10 hotspots:

1. Oxford, the UK’s first official Social Enterprise Place, which has raised £7.9 million in eight share offers. It includes £5.8 million for Westmill Solar Cooperative, the largest community-owned solar park in Europe and the creation of the Low Carbon Hub in Oxford.

2. Bristol, which will become European Green Capital in 2015. It raised £5.6 million in nine offers, including £2.2 million for the Low Carbon Gordano solar array.

3. Bath, one of the UK’s most active regions for community energy, has raised £2.3 million in four offers. This included £700,000 from more than 500 people to take The Bell Inn into local ownership, saving an important live music venue.

Brad Allen

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