HISBE Food CIC, a social enterprise and sustainable supermarket, is targeting a £450,000 bond raise through an investment crowdfunding campaign on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform.

HISBE’s mission is to transform the food industry, by reinventing the way supermarkets do business. The minimum investment for the bond offer is £50.

Ruth Anslow, who launched HISBE’s first store in Brighton in 2013 with her sister Amy and their friend Jack, says: Much of the UK food industry is reliant on intensive industrialised food production and cheap food produced with little regard for the environmental or social costs which have to be paid by society as a whole. The result has created a wasteful food system that is unsustainable.”

HISBE does things differently. You can do your whole shop at HISBE but you won’t find any big global brands on its shelves; instead you will find more ethical and considered versions of everyday products.

As a community interest company (CIC) HISBE has impact embedded into its governance and financing structure as well as through its operations and activities.

  • HISBE does not make big pay-outs to shareholders or directors, instead it puts money back into making the prices fair for customers and paying suppliers fairly.
  • HISBE staff all get contracted hours, paid the real living wage and 20% discount off their shopping. HISBE does not do zero-hour contracts or unpaid breaks.
  • HISBE invests back into the local economy. For every £1 HISBE spends, 57 pence is spent locally (in Sussex) on stock, wages and services.

The bond will pay 5% gross interest per year for its seven-year term. As with all investments, capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

HISBE’s first store in Brighton has been open since 2013 and now has turnover of £1.8 million. HISBE (which stands for How it Should Be) has secured a site for the new store in Worthing and plans for it to open for business this summer. The crowdfunding campaign will raise money to fund the fit-out of the shop, provide working capital and cover the anticipated first year trading loss for the Worthing store. With a second shop, HISBE can scale the operation and reach financial stability.

Social Investment tax relief

Depending on their personal circumstances, investors may benefit from Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), subject to final approval from HMRC. Eligible individual taxpayers can offset 30% of their investment in HISBE against an investor’s income tax liability for the tax year in which the investment is made.

Ruth Anslow, HISBE director and co-founder, continued:“We’re really excited by this opportunity, we have a great site secured in Worthing and expanding to our second shop is something we have been working hard on for more than two years.

"We created HISBE to transform the UK’s food industry, because right now it just isn't sustainable. We think supermarkets can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem and we are on a mission to reinvent the way supermarkets do business. We want to show that it is possible to buck convention and break the mould.”

Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank UK, said: “Triodos is an ethical and sustainable bank and we offer a more conscious approach to finance and banking. HISBE is doing much the same, making it easier for people to consume in a more sustainable way. It’s great that HISBE is ready to expand and we are delighted to be raising the capital to support it.”

Important information

Investments offered on the Triodos crowdfunding platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell, and you may not get back the full amount invested. Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Repayment of capital and interest will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.


Images available upon request.

For further information please contact:

Ed Grattan

Ellie James

Notes to editor


HISBE opened its first shop on York Place in Brighton in 2013. The supermarket is forecast to have turnover of £1.8 million in the 2019 financial year, which ends 31/01/2020. The company has been funded to date through a combination of equity and debt. The company has previously successfully raised money through crowdfunding to launch the first store in Brighton.

HISBE’s distinct brand is based on five principles:

  • ETHICS-LED. HISBE is independently certified for authentic ethical trading practices by The Living Wage Foundation, Social Enterprise UK, The Social Enterprise Mark and The Ethical Consumer Organisation.
  • SUSTAINABILITY. Developed a bespoke sourcing policy, The HISBE Way, based on principles of sustainability in food and farming.
  • LOCAL. Local produce now accounts for 44% of all HISBE’s spend on stock and is a constantly growing proportion of the offer.
  • LOW WASTE. Offers hundreds of products packaging-free, so that customers can buy only what they need or want.
  • COMMUNITY SPIRIT. Create a friendly, community vibe for HISBE, in the customer experience in-store, in social media online and in person around Brighton & Hove.
  • hisbe.co.uk

About Triodos Bank

Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.

Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain, Germany and France as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 54 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.

Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.

This financial promotion has been issued and approved by Triodos Bank UK Limited for the purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.  Triodos Bank UK Ltd. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales with registered number 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request.