Positive investors raise £1.6bn for social and environmental businesses

More than one million 'positive investments' have raised around £1.6bn, due to a growing public interest in investments that 'do good' and offer a financial return, according to a new report.

Launched to coincide with National Ethical Investment Week (October 13-19), the report found that more than one million investments and savings have been made in businesses, social enterprises, credit unions and community share offers, which give people the chance to invest directly in issues that they care about.

Positive investments tend to be in areas such as fair trade, renewable energy, poverty alleviation, organic farming, community shops and pubs, sustainable forestry, green transport, organic food and farming and social property.

Published by online exchange for positive investments service, Ethex, the report, Positive Investing in the United Kingdom, also showed that just under 700 businesses currently form the UK market for positive investments, ranging from well-known brands such as Cafédirect, Good Energy and the Phone Co-op, to specific environmental and social projects.

Ethex founder and managing director, Jamie Hartzell, said: “All over the UK large numbers of people are highly motivated to invest their savings where they will make money and bring positive social and environmental benefits. Society needs more positive investment. It’s a new model of business and we should be supporting the companies leading the way.”

“People now expect more from their money. They have lost trust in the banks and money managers. They are looking for ways to invest directly, as evidenced by the rapid growth of crowd-funding, and positive investment allows people to invest direct into businesses they trust.

“For many people, this means being confident that their direct investment is making the world a better place, at the same time as generating a financial return,” added Hartzell.

Leigh Stringer

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