Ethex could mark step change in social investing

The chance to invest in socially positive businesses is now just a click away. The recently launched Ethex online marketplace will enable anyone to find and compare the best social and environmental investments available, and to invest easily. The site provides clear and helpful information about both the individual investment products available and the complex world of social investment as a whole. It offers investors the chance to make their own choices, bypassing professional intermediaries and engaging directly with the businesses.

‘Ethex wants to do for social investing what Fairtrade did for ethical consumerism,’ explains founder and managing director Jamie Hartzell. ‘We include businesses that have a positive benefit at the heart of their mission, alongside financial returns.’ Questions like ‘what are their carbon emissions? How many women do they have on their board? Is the pay of their chief executive excessive compared to the lowest paid people in the organization?’ are among the criteria Ethex offers users.

The rationale for the site is that there are many people who would like to invest small amounts in businesses that advance causes they believe in, but are prevented because they don’t know what’s available, or how to go about making the investment. Tapping these investors, believes Hartzell, would mark a ‘step change’, transforming the social investment industry from a small number of professional funds and business angels into a functioning marketplace in positive investments. Ethex has chosen to operate as a not-for-profit organization. This is both to help build trust with its audience and to ensure that the long-term mission of the organization does not fall victim to the pursuit of individual benefit.

Investors can browse the Ethex website for free, or sign up for a £30 membership, which gives them reduced transaction fees and allows them to track their portfolio.

For more information

http://www.ethex.org.uk
Contact managing director Jamie Hartzell at jamie@ethex.org.uk


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