Big jump in number of community shares investors
The number of people investing in community share offers has increased significantly, according to new figures obtained by the Community Shares Unit.
In 2014 over 15,000 people are estimated to have bought community shares in local societies up and down the country - over a third more than the previous year. The main factor for this growth was the increase in the number of large-scale share offers launching in the year, with a number of £1m offers in the renewable energy sector alone.
These bigger offers are enabling more people to invest in community energy projects spanning solar, hydro, and on-shore wind projects. In total almost £30m of share capital was targeted by around 60 shares offers in 2014, with over £20m being sought by community energy offers.
According to data obtained via the Nesta Alternative Finance Study late last year, the majority of these people are first-time investors who have never bought shares before. A survey of Microgenius investors found that two-thirds of supporters had not funded other projects or enterprises using crowdfunding or alternative finance platforms.
The CSU will be releasing a comprehensive community shares market report in late June 2015, to coincide with the launch of the Community Shares Standard Mark.