On 9th July 2021 Bridport Cohousing launched a Community Share offer on the ethical investment platform Ethex. We now have 3 months to attract enough investors to raise up to our maximum target of £732,000 and the clock is ticking!!
When we realised that we would have to bear the full cost of construction and fitting out the Common House, as well as paying for the 2 guest bedrooms and repaying some loans that had been raised from friends and family when we bought the second phase of our land back in 2018, we decided to do some serious fundraising and after looking at various options we decided that community shares would be the way forward.
These are unique to co-ops and community benefit societies (like BC) and are withdrawable, non-transferable shares. They are not covered by the Financial Services Authority so in order to gain confidence that our project has a sound business plan, we have applied for and gained the Community Shares Standard Mark which recognises National standards of good practice.
Getting all the documentation needed for the Standard Mark and satisfying Ethex that we had done the due diligence required to be included on their national online platform took 4 months of intense work. The Common Facilities subcircle of the Finance circle and others took this on and worked tirelessly with Charles Couzens to get the product launched. Also beavering away to help the finished look of the documents and achieve a professional look was member Caz, who works in the field of design and communication. She produced a wonderful promotional video and was the link between the graphic designers Noble Studio and ourselves.
Teamwork is everything at Bridport Cohousing – our Sociocratic structure enables people with certain skills to join work circles and get involved with smaller sub circles that can focus on discrete elements of the whole project and work autonomously to do their particular ‘bit’. The level of trust required is very motivational and this is what makes this particular cohousing project so special.