Apples, IPSs and shares

An interesting day in London last week.  Firstly meeting Apple‘s education people to talk about support for visitor interpretation in the Tamar Valley (notable that they offer support rather than cash discounts!).  Lots of interesting ideas about how the new visitor centre could be tooled up and offer something quite ground breaking in the area.

Then to an interesting (and unexpected) discussion over lunch with, amongst others, Mark Campanale from the Social Stock Exchange and Tim Crabtree from Wessex Reinvestment Trust about the virtues of IPS and straight company setups for raising capital by share issues.  IPS rules have been adopted by many social enterprises as they are now relatively straight forward as a means of raising money from the community via share issues.  But the shares aren’t tradable (or ‘on-market’) so aren’t eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme or as a place for your pension.  The trouble with that is the perception of much higher cost and tougher regulation.  SSE are trying to promote the on-market approach as a way of tapping into all those pension pots (mine included!) that are otherwise invested in conventional big-businesses, and thereby bring huge investment in the social enterprise sector.  The discussion, which focused on getting investment into renewables, was enlightening!

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