An investment in exchange for shares in your organisation. For example, an investor pays £10,000 to own 10% of your organisation. Equity investors receive a share of any profits paid out by your organisation and get to have a say in how it is run, proportionate to the amount they invest.

When might I use it?

Charities and many social enterprises are not able to sell (i.e. issue) shares. If your social enterprise is structured as a Company Limited by Shares, equity investment is an option at any stage of the organisation’s development from start-up onwards. If your organisation is a Co-operative or Community Benefit Society you can make a community share offer

Where can I get it from?

Specialist social investors, social angel investors (usually high net worth individuals) and venture capitalists

Browse our investors and advisers page for equity investment from specialist social investors. 

You can find social investment focused angels on Clearly Social Angels or mainstream angels through UK Business Angels Association


  • The investment is only repaid if and when the organisation makes a profit

  • Equity investors may bring additional skills and contacts to the business                          


  • You have to give up (some) control of your business

  • Social enterprise may not make big enough profits to interest many potential equity investors

More information