The BioFinanz portal is an online source of information about various alternative financing models in the agricultural and food industry, presenting the respective advantages and disadvantages target-group-oriented and bundled. Released today, the portal is aimed at companies that want to involve clients and citizens in the financing process, as well as at citizens who are informed about different participation options.
Alternative financing models are models that are implemented with the financial participation of citizens. Examples such as crowdfunding, solidarity-based agriculture, profit-sharing rights, citizen share companies & land purchase cooperatives show: the interest in ethical investment opportunities and personal commitment of citizens to a sustainable food system is growing. This development can benefit companies and businesses that are committed to sustainable agriculture and food and are looking for alternatives to traditional loan financing by banks.
The involvement of citizens in corporate financing, however, does not only reduce dependencies. In particular, models in which citizens receive something in return in the form of payment in kind or goods vouchers are also suitable as a marketing instrument for customer loyalty. Since September 2017, the BioFinanz research team of the IfLS and HNEE has been conducting surveys among companies to identify the characteristics, potential and challenges of the various financing models and to find out how companies and initiatives inform themselves about them.