Investing in shares in an impact company

Want to put your savings to work while financing the social and ecological transition? You've come to the right place! On LITA.co, you can invest in companies with a positive impact. Let's zoom in on shares.

What's a share?

A share is a portion of a company's capital. The owners of these company shares are called the shareholders. Company law, which may be supplemented by a shareholders' agreement, establishes the rights of these shareholders: the right to information, the right to vote, the right to attend general meetings, the right to receive dividends, ... When investing in a cooperative, shareholders are also called "cooperators".

What you need to know before buying shares

What's the difference between listed and unlisted shares?

Shares can be listed or unlisted. Unlisted shares are usually issued directly to private investors by small and medium-sized companies seeking financing. Unlike listed shares, which can be bought and sold on the stock exchange market, unlisted shares are issued by a company as part of a fundraising round. Therefore, they cannot be easily resold. 

Historically, unlisted shares were reserved only for professional investors such as investment funds or business angels. But today, thanks to a platform like LITA.co, you too can invest directly in these promising companies.

What are the characteristics of unlisted shares?

Without a regulated market, the value of these shares is less easy to estimate. However, unlike listed shares, they are not subject to speculation. They are therefore less volatile. They are also less liquid, meaning they are only resold after a number of years if the company has a resale opportunity. So keep in mind that you should never invest money that you might need in the short term. Finally, investing in unlisted shares carries a risk of losing all or part of the invested capital, as these tend to be smaller companies with a higher risk of failure.

Investing in cooperative shares on LITA.co

But unlisted shares have a big plus: they allow you to focus your savings on the so-called real economy. The real economy includes the production of goods and services, i.e. no activities that fall under the financial economy. When you buy shares directly from SMEs, cooperatives or start-ups, you're participating in a local economy that works to boost local activity by creating jobs and tangible benefits for society. And that's precisely what we value at LITA.co.

Shares can offer financial benefits

Unlisted shares are financial assets with a particularly attractive return potential. Unlike bonds, their returns are not known or limited in advance (unless stated in the articles of association). Depending on the company's growth potential, the capital gains can be significant.

What's a capital gain?

For most investments in unlisted shares, you have to wait for an exit opportunity before you can sell your shares. Capital gains arise when the share is sold at a higher price than the price you paid for it yourself. This is the compensation method we prefer at LITA.co. The investments we propose offer potential prospects of attractive exit opportunities, on average after 5 to 7 years.

In some cases, the company's articles stipulate that no capital gain is possible upon sale. This means that the shares are bought back at the original purchase price, or at a lower price if the company has made losses. You will find this absence of potential capital gain more often in cooperatives.

The impact company Happy Hours Market (the company that recovers unsold food) and the cooperative Färm (the network of stores specializing in organic food) are examples of positive exits where LITA investors were able to exit with a capital gain.

What's a dividend?

A dividend is a portion of a company's profit that is distributed fairly to shareholders in proportion to their number of shares. Only profitable companies can pay dividends. Unlisted shares usually involve start-ups and SMEs that, although growing strongly, usually still have too little profit to use this type of remuneration. So this type of remuneration is rather rare on LITA.co.

The benefits of being an ethical shareholder

By buying sustainable shares on LITA.co, you are putting your savings to good use and contributing to the emergence of a form of finance that combines profitability with a positive impact on society and the environment.

How to invest transparently?

On our investment platform, you choose yourself what you'd like to finance with your savings. By buying shares directly from the company, you can experience an entrepreneurial adventure. You can participate in general meetings and get a look behind the scenes of the company. You help finance companies with concrete impact objectives and tangible results. Since our creation, nearly 10 000 jobs have already been created or consolidated thanks to more than 100 fundraisings to finance committed companies.

Investing in shares on LITA.co

How can you invest for a fairer, more sustainable economy?

On LITA.co, we offer you the opportunity to become a responsible shareholder. This way you stand up for a fairer, more inclusive economy that reinvents the way we produce and consume while respecting the planet's limits. We always select companies that meet at least one of the criteria of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The companies on our platform operate at the core of important transition sectors: sustainable real estate, renewable energy, sustainable agricultural and food systems, technological innovation of public interest, ...

On the platform, you can buy shares in start-ups, cooperatives and SMEs, each with its own expectations in terms of risk, return and impact. The diverse offer also gives you the opportunity to diversify your investments.

The Tax Shelter benefit when buying Belgian shares

By investing in unlisted shares of Belgian companies, private individuals can benefit from the Tax Shelter, a tax reduction of up to 45% of the invested amount.