Community Share Offers – an investment for all shapes and sizes

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May 2018

Daniel Brewer, one of our directors, discusses why he likes Community Share Offers!

Last week was Mustard Seed Property’s (MSP) best yet in our current share offer.  We jumped from £30,000 to over £170,000.  Yes, this was to a large extent due to one foundation adding £100,000, but there were some significant others as well.  One of the reasons I love community share issues (and Mustard Seed Property’s in particular) is that they have the power to engage the foundations, the second home owners and the MPs, all of whom we might expect to invest, and have done!  But it also includes the retired widow, the farmer, the holidaymaker and the local business. It enables all of us to contribute what we can and treats us as equals: one member one vote.   We become, not just investors looking for a positive outcome and a reasonable rate of return, we become something together that we could not achieve on our own.  The power of the collective capitalism harnessed for the common good – still delivering what John Ludlow foresaw when the first ‘Industrial and Provident Societies Partnership Act’ was passed under the Derby/Disraeli Tory government of 1852.

Mustard Seed Property celebrates both the amount it raises and also the number of people that participate.  It is a uniting power in our increasingly isolated and fragmented society.

So far, we’ve seen 20% of our initial investors re-investing. This is over and above the fact that 90% of them chose to re-invest their share interest this year.  The overall number of investors has doubled and suddenly our minimum target is within sight.  Thank you so much to everyone that has got behind this project so far.  Whether you are a foundation like Esmée Fairbairn, a Member of Parliament like Derek, a second home owner like Paul or a part time care worker like Liz, please consider joining us.

Mustard Seed Property offers none of the glamour of a technology business promising to be the next industrial disrupter (though we constantly look at how we can use technology to enhance the experience of our tenants), there are no tax breaks or unlimited upsides.  This is old school – you invest, we buy and develop property and then lease it to a select group of outstanding Cornish social enterprises. The rent provides a reasonable financial return, but most importantly the people supported in the space we create together, are some of the most deserving, brave, resilient people we know.  You might hear them described as homeless, disabled or victims of abuse, but we just see them as people with potential. I hope that’s how you might also think about me.

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