What are Community Shares?

Community Shares are an ideal way for communities to invest in enterprises serving a community purpose.

What is a Community Share offer?

Most enterprises need capital to start, to grow, and to be sustainable. This finance has to come from somewhere, and Community Shares enables this investment to come from the very community which an enterprise intends to benefit. These community shareholders, ordinary people, invest in local enterprises to provide goods and services to meet local needs and only expect a fair and modest return on their investment, if any.

It’s all about people working together to create something new!

Find out more by downloading our Community Shares leaflet!

What enterprises are ideal for Community Shares? Community Shares have been used to finance a huge range of community-owned projects. Some examples include:

  • Buying a building for a new community hall.
  • Energy projects such as wind or solar power.
  • Build a stadium or renovate a leisure facility.
  • The purchase of rural and urban shops, pubs and breweries.
  • Buying a piece of land for agricultural collectives.

Who can make a Community Share offer? To put forward this type of share offer, the group/enterprise will need to register as a Co-operative or a Community Benefit Society and the enterprise must benefit a community in Northern Ireland.

Find out more about Community Shares by contacting Tiziana O’Hara at Cooperative Alternatives at Unit 40a, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG. Email tiziana@cooperativealternatives.coop or phone 07858317634.

The first programme of support delivered by Co-operative Alternatives between 2013 -2018 was funded by:

Big Lottery Fund   Big Lottery Fund