Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, do business in a particular way. Rather than operating purely to generate profit, they prioritise working for social and environmental good. Here, we celebrate the recent success of B Corps in raising capital via the Triodos Crowdfunding platform.
Laura Crawford launched Mama Bamboo in 2018 with an ambition to disrupt the nappies and wet wipes market – an industry that sees around 3 billion plastic disposable nappies and 11 billion plastic wet wipes thrown away each year in the UK. In just three years they grew fast and quickly established a loyal, environmentally conscious customer base. Earlier this year they really demonstrated their credentials by securing B Corp accreditation.
2021 was also the year they needed to set about raising finance for the business, with intentions to reach new markets, develop a subscription sales app and create a range of complementary products, thereby expanding the range of sustainable baby care products on the market. They targeted £540,000 through a share offer on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform, and successfully raised almost £600,000.
Impact investors were able to invest from £60, and to take advantage of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief.
Triodos Bank UK will be well known to many B Corporations as the first pan-European bank to be certified as a B Corp, when it joined in the European launch of the movement back in 2015. As well as offering business accounts (in fact, in banking with Triodos a business gets an extra 10 points in the B Corp certification process) and traditional debt lending through a team of experienced relationship managers, Triodos also raises finance for businesses that have a positive social or environmental impact. A specialist corporate finance team has been in place at the bank for over 15 years working on unsecured debt, bond and share offers and has raised over £150m for impactful organisations of all sizes, including charities, social enterprises and environmental projects.
In 2018 Triodos become the first bank in the UK to launch its own investments crowdfunding platform. The platform provides a range of crowdfunding opportunities, enabling business to offer equity or bonds, as long as the organisation is delivering positive social and environmental impacts.
Organic craft beer producer and certified B Corp, Stroud Brewery, is one such company that has used the capital bond approach, successfully raising £300,000 via a bond offer on the Triodos platform. The funding in 2018 enabled it to move to a new site, designed to accommodate the brewery’s growing needs, provide greater capacity for beer production, storage facilities, larger offices and a new taproom. It also improved the green credentials of the company with heat reclamation, rainwater harvesting and solar powered electricity.
“B Corps are driving the shift to a new kind of economy, that is better for workers, better for communities and better for the environment,” explains Jeremy Pannell, of the Triodos Corporate Finance team. “Every organisation is unique and so should be their financing. We take a case-by-case approach to help you find the right type of finance - whether that’s a loan from a bank, investment from a social investment fund or raising capital from individual investors. We’re keen to work with members of the B Corp community to help them increase their impact by raising capital on our crowdfunding platform.”
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