Cultivate
Year of share offer: 
2012
Money raised: 
£88,036
Number of members: 
62
Cultivate is an Oxford-based social enterprise focused on local food. The social enterprise makes great local food fairly-priced, convenient and accessible to people in and around Oxford. Cultivate raised £80,000 from investors in three months, smashing its £55,000 target and revealing a strong appetite for locally grown food in the region.

THEIR STORY

Cultivate is part of a growing local food movement, concerned to encourage a food system which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, protects the natural environment and encourages healthier living.  Cultivate, in its founders’ words, is a local response to global issues.

The idea behind Cultivate took shape during 2011, and the organisation was incorporated as a Community Benefit Society in November that year.  The share issue in early 2012 provided the capital to launch.

Cultivate operates a commercial market garden on ten acres of land close to Oxford.  It also runs a mobile shop, the VegVan, which brings food grown here, as well as produce from other local farmers including breads, local honey and eggs to various locations around Oxford.  Produce is also supplied to the catering trade in the city.

HOW DID THEY RAISE THE INVESTMENT?

Cultivate originally aimed to raise £55,000 in its 2012 community share issue, later revised to £80,000.   Investments (withdrawable member shares) are for a minimum term of three years, withdrawable afterwards on request (subject to a total annual limit on withdrawals of 10% of share capital).

Interest is projected at 3% pa, subject to trading.  Interest will not be paid during the first three years but it is hoped to increase the interest in year four to compensate for this. 

THE INVESTOR’S VIEW

“I really like the idea of investing in a cause I believe in which brings community as well as personal benefits.   Cultivate produces very tangible results today towards a long-term sustainable future.”

- Deborah Glass Woodin