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ESG Front and Center: Navigating the 2024 Crowdfunding Landscape

With the cost of living crisis fuelled by a plethora of national and international economic factors, 2023 was one of the most challenging years we’ve ever seen for equity crowdfunding as both consumers and investors tightened their belts.

However, despite the unfavourable landscape, many notable sectors continued to surge, and plenty of innovative campaigns soared to success.

ESG Takeaways from 2023

ESG Last year, Seedrs conducted an in-depth survey with over 1,200 investors, of which a massive 78% said they factored environmental, social and governance (ESG) – otherwise known as climate impact – into their decisions, indicating that corporate policies seen as responsible are important to the vast majority of investors.

Clean energy and climate tech were also some of investors’ most cited sectors of interest.

In 2024, the Thomson Reuters Institute predicts that companies will take climate impact even more seriously, and continue to overhaul their business structures.

According to PwC research, nearly one-third of CFOs were considering the potential effects of climate change on their company’s bottom line in 2023, with more climate impact controller positions being installed as sustainability, finance, and business strategy become increasingly inseparable.

So we can expect investors – as well as consumers – to maintain high expectations of companies, and aim to back only those they see as ethical. In turn, this will cement climate impact as a factor that company founders simply cannot ignore.

Climate impact was central to many of the campaigns we supported in 2023, with those focused solely on environmental initiatives performing particularly well.

One example is Toraphene, which uses the Nobel Prize-winning material, graphene, to make biodegradable products designed to cut plastic use. After raising £917,000 on Crowdcube with TribeFirst in 2020, Toraphene raised over £1.17m in its 2023 campaign.

With such impressive backing, and proven, commercially-viable products, Toraphene is an important step closer to completing its mission to make plastic packaging obsolete.

Seafields, on the other hand, aims to abate billions of tonnes of carbon emissions annually through a unique method of seaweed farming. The company farms sargassum to harvest it, and sell it on to manufacturers in the near future to be made into products, or to the petrochemical industry, which aims to use it to make bioplastic.

It then sinks the remains to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, making it an effective solution in helping to tackle the climate crisis. The crowd was on board, too, with Seafields raising £522,000+ on Crowdcube in April.

Just like the world of business, the crowdfunding landscape is ever changing. The attitudes of the crowd often reflect new and emerging consumer trends, and can even be ahead of the curve.

So if you’re thinking of raising for your business in 2024, it’s important to stay on top of both investor and consumer trends in your industry, before deciding the optimal time to take action.

With a well executed raise, the chances are you’ll play your own role in shaping this year’s trends.

Good luck!

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