Ethex celebrates 10 years of positive impact through investing

‘We believe that our money is the most powerful tool for transformation’

For the last ten years, Ethex has helped people to make ethical investments in organisations aiming to make a positive difference.

In its Impact Review 2013-2023, the organisation outlines its progress over the last decade, highlighting its approach, achievements, and measures of success.

“We believe that our money is the most powerful tool for transformation,” says CEO Lisa Ashford, adding that over the last decade, the organisation has “helped over 20,000 investors raise over £120m to back more than 200 pioneering projects that have created a positive impact”.

She added: “When Ethex launched 10 years ago, our purpose was to create a greener, fairer, and more ethical future by offering positive investment opportunities. At the time, ethical finance was a relative newcomer to the financial landscape, and we made it our mission to make it more accessible to all. I am immensely proud of the change we have created.

“It’s been especially inspiring to see so many everyday people, not just experienced investors, taking control of their money and collectively turning it into something extraordinary, like powering social change. We at Ethex believe that by working together, we can challenge poverty, transition people to clean energy, and educate everyone about their environmental impact. As we celebrate 10 years, this Impact Report also marks the beginning of our next chapter, looking forward to the better future we can create together.”

Equal Care Co-op is among the Ehtex success stories

Ethex’s mission is to fight climate change, build more resilient communities and create a fairer society “by democratising finance for purposeful organisations and making positive impact investing the norm”. It does this, the organisation says, by only working with businesses or community organisations that have ethical values at the heart, and by being consciously open and transparent structure.

Co-operatives are among the many organisations supported through Ethex, including Equal Care Co-op, Westmill Solar and Bristol Energy Co-operatives.

Related: Bristol Energy Co-op among winners at Green Energy Awards

Another is People Powered Retrofit – a community co-operative set up to help households source reliable retrofit services, creating greener, more energy-efficient homes in Greater Manchester.

PPR works with householders to retrofit their homes and with builders to skill up and meet the demand for these services. Through their raise with Ethex, they will be able to work with 1,150 more homes in the next 5 years, making them more energy-efficient and saving 2,700 tonnes of CO2 and grow their training programme, with the aim of retraining 3,500 local contractors.

People Powered Retrofit

Signalise, the worker-owend British Sign Language interpreter co-op in Merseyside, has also benefited. For the 87,000 deaf BSL users in the UK, the ability to access vital services most people take for granted has become a lottery. Signalise is helping give more control to deaf people in the UK by revolutionising the booking of BSL interpreters through the development of an innovative online system.

Related: People Powered Retrofit looks at credit union collaboration at Abcul conference

Signalise gives deaf people the confidence that they can book everyday appointments with a registered interpreter on hand. Ethex investors have helped Signalise develop a system that matches more skilled professional BSL interpreters to organisations needing to engage confidently with deaf service users, ensuring interpreters get paid a fair rate.

“The fact that sustainable finance and impact investing have come to the forefront in the last 10 years is fantastic, but it brings certain challenges as competition for impact products gets hotter. Ethex continues to offer a direct impact offering that provides such tangible positive action that, in our view, it will rise above other’ impact-ish’ products in the market and win out,” says Ashford.

“Through replicating the success of the last 10 years and consolidating our position, we have identified a strong and credible growth plan to 2028. This will mean engaging with our core communities and social enterprises, who come back again and again to deliver more impactful projects, and broadening our reach to attract more social businesses and communities that lack access to the right types of finance.”