Why Social Investment Must Be More Accessible
If you decide you want to invest your money in social enterprise, how are you going about it? The truth is you would find it difficult. Even though there are many really exciting investments available to the general public, it is virtually impossible to find out what there is to buy and how to go about buying it. The result? Social investment is only open to the truly committed – the hard core.
The sector is fond of talking about the billions that could be invested in the social investment market, but so far it has done little to make that happen. Even the newly launched Social Stock Exchange doesn’t allow you to actually invest in any of the businesses featured, and, furthermore, it is restricted to businesses already listed on a mainstream stock exchange, which excludes almost every social enterprise in existence.
In reality, the social investment marketplace barely exists. It is more akin to a few pop-up restaurants advertised by flyers on lamp-posts than a high street full of established eateries that are regularly reviewed online and in the local press.
Most people who set out to invest ethically will end up investing in ethical unit trusts. This is simply because the marketplace for these funds is better established. There are deal platforms that allow you to invest online, comparison websites that allow you to choose the funds that best suit your needs and independent financial advisers who will recommend which funds to invest in.