Why is crowdlending an ethical investment?

In recent times we often hear about ethical investment. Understandably, for some people this expression may sound like an oxymoron: the word "investment," in fact, is often juxtaposed with obtaining a strictly personal gain, while with the term "ethical," on the contrary, we generally tend to identify everything that aims at the realization of a broader purpose than what would make us happy individually.

On closer inspection, however, this is not always the case. Certainly, it is undeniable that some investments often carry with them a purely speculative value. Yet, while it is true that the real economy is also capable of influencing our social and environmental contexts, it must be honestly acknowledged that investing in realities that can generate a positive impact on these present contexts has value that goes well beyond mere speculation.

Sustainable projects

To re-cap, if a speculative investment brings with it a purely personal gain, an ethical investment should be able to produce effects that can also positively retroact on collective well-being.

Well, what does this mean in concrete terms? The so-called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) identified by the United Nations (UN), provide an excellent litmus test for understanding this.

In fact, according to what was established in 2015 by as many as 196 countries, a project is defined as "sustainable" if it is able to make improvements within decisive fields of action to ensure a better future for all. There are 17 goals agreed upon, specifically, and they cover several themes:

1. overcoming poverty;

2. overcoming hunger;

3. ensuring well-being for good health for all;

4. promoting inclusive forms of education;

5. promoting gender equality;

6. ensure the availability of clean water and sanitation for all;

7. ensure the availability of renewable and affordable energy;

8. promote inclusive economic growth and full employment;

9. build sound and innovative infrastructure;

10. reduce inequality;

11. create sustainable and inclusive cities and communities;

12. responsibly use available resources;

13. combating climate change;

14. conserve and sustainably use marine resources;

15. promote sustainable land use;

16. promote peace and justice;

17. cooperate in order to achieve a global partnership for sustainable development.

Is crowdlending an ethical investment?

Crowdlending, as it is known, is a form of investment that enables large numbers of investors to make money by lending capital to individuals in need of liquidity. EvenFi's platform, for example, deals precisely with crowdlending: first, in that it was created to finance the growth projects of startups and SMEs, i.e., private individuals; second, because it offers thousands of investors the opportunity to invest in projects that provide returns of up to 11 percent annually.

As lucrative as they are, however, it would be decidedly improper to characterize the opportunities available on EvenFi's platform as merely speculative investments. In fact, there are numerous European companies that have applied for funding on this platform to implement sustainable projects that can positively impact the well-being of the communities in which they operate.

Those who invest in EvenFi, therefore, are motivated not only by the intent to make a profit, but also by the need to finance companies with projects capable of generating beneficial effects from the point of view of the environment and renewable energy; the reduction of gender inequality in the workplace; the creation of employment within the European territory; and the promotion of innovative forms of training and new tools capable of bringing improvements to our health.

To promote transparency on this issue as well, EvenFi has chosen to mark the presence of sustainable projects with a symbol that can make them recognizable. Anyone who is willing to make investments in projects capable of generating ethical effects on the community will now be able to identify them, among the opportunities in the "Invest" section, thanks to the leaf symbol(🍃) that will signal their sustainability.

This proves that investing in crowdlending does not only mean diversifying one's portfolio to increase one's savings, but also - and above all - choosing to make an ethical investment.