Community share offers are now becoming an established way of raising finance for renewable energy projects that then go on to generate a benefit for the community.

The motivation for buying these shares is usually different from that of shareholders in companies. The primary motivation for purchasing shares in a social enterprise is to support the social purpose and objects of the Society. Financial motivation is at best secondary though the rate of return can be attractive.

These differences in investor motivation are enshrined in law by limits on the financial return on investment, restrictions on the scope for capital gains, and caps on the amount of capital an individual can invest.