Underneath is a short overview of the crowd-lending and details of our project.

More info about our crowd-lending certificates:

– answers to frequently asked questions

– if you would like to purchase support-certificates click here.

Introduction

By purchasing our support-certificates, you help our Ecovillage Boekel realising its mission ‘to be an inspiration for sustainable living’. We are 18 adults and 8 children currently living in temporary housing near the building site. In 2018 we would like to start the build of the first 10 (of 30) climate adaptive, circular, eco houses. Together with our partners we want to test innovative and sustainable solutions. We have had support from the government and received € 64.000,- in subsidies from the county and the water authority.

This crowd-lending is a loan from you to the ecovillage for which you may choose how you would like to be compensated for your support. Your support, together with that from our sustainable partners and a bank, will enable us to start building in the spring of 2018!

Our experience with crowd-funding

Previous crowd-funding projects went pretty good, totalling € 263.000. These loans are being repaid with the rent received from the temporary housing within the 5 years given.

Our crowd-funders and crowd-lenders are important to us because:

  • their financial support allows us to make a change!
  • they are enthusiastic about the project and have trust in what we are trying to accomplice
  • they expand our network
  • they give exposure to our project
  • they are welcome to join us at our annual summer party!

Our plans

The picture below shows our plan to build three circles of sustainable houses in three phases over the next few years. This crowd-lending is for the first circle of ten houses (2018/ or top left).

In our houses we will be testing different sustainable innovations. For example circulair electricity-cables (Prysmian, Alliander en Enexis), filtering rainwater to drinking-water, etc.

Besides that we are also innovative in organising our own community with regular group sharings and the organisational system Holarchie.

Art projects are lined up. For example we would like to create a project in the forest next to our ecovillage. Also, we intend to invite known artists to design and build tree houses. For this we will apply for a cultural fund.

The “Nationaal Groenfonds”, an organisation which invests in making the Netherlands greener by supporting with finance and advice, will lend us for the green and innovative aspects of our houses, e.g. the green roofs. We have applied for about € 200.000 per circle of ten houses. The hemp used for the walls in our houses will be industrial hemp, a variety with no psycho-active ingredients, which cleans the soil, produces oxygen and can be recycled and composted.

Our crowd-lending certificates

One certificate has the value of €300. More than one can be bought per investor. The duration of the loan has a minimum period of 5 years and a maximum period of 10 years. Read more about this in the frequently asked questions

How would you like to be compensated for your support?

  • No compensation; you will be invited for our summer party to celebrate the progress each year!
  • An overnight stay in one of our treehouses. You save up € 10,- a year (per certificate) for an overnight stay in a (yet to be build) treehouse. When you have saved enough, you will get a voucher valid for a year.
  • Website listing for the duration of your certificate(s), you or your business will be listed on our Dutch website (2000 unique visitors monthly).
  • 2% interest p.a.

Which compensation you receive is your choice. You have the option to select your choice on the registration form. After the funds are received we will send you a receipt and extra information about your chosen compensation. Compensation starts on 1st January 2018.

The number of certificates viable for repayment will be based on the financial situation of our co-operation Ecodorp Boekel B.A. Well in advance you will be asked to see if you would like to continue your support for another 5 years. Should the number of requests for new certificates deviate from the number of certificates to be repayed, then a draw will take place to decide which certificates will be repayed.

After 10 years we will look to refinance via crowd-lending or a bank loan, to ensure all certificates can be repayed.

The ownership of your certificate may be transferred to someone else should there be need for this. The certificate owner will have to find the replacement. Should the co-operation go bankrupt then our main investors will be paid off first and certificate holders later.

We wish to sell a minimum of 2000 certificates. Should we not manage this or fail for some other reason to start the build of our new houses then we will refund all monies to each certificate holder without the extra compensation.

 

Risks

Until we actually start building the risk of buying certificates are very small as we will not spend the funds before we know that it is financially safe to go ahead. During the period of building the level of risk is at its highest. After that, the houses are completed and thus collateral. We have chosen this strategy to reduce the risk as much as possible.

 

Risks during the building period explained:

  • Building period and quality of build
    Experience with the building work on the temporary houses has taught us that self building takes a lot more time. This is why we’ve decided to work together with a contractor for part of the work, such as the foundations and part of the timber framing.
  • Innovative risks
    The innovative sustainable solutions we will be using are often implemented for the very first time. We only allow innovations where the supplier takes full responsibility for the product. This has also its benefits for the supplier as it prepares them for releasing their product on the open market.
  • Going over budget
    There is a risk of increasing costs, or unforeseen expenses during the build. To minimise the risks we have help from professionals, i.e. ´VALIRE vastgoed´, who has provided us with our exploitation and liquidity budget.
  • Finance for our permanent houses
    Together with a former bank manager and business economist we want to minimize the following risks:
  • Risk of under occupancy
    The occupants have a 3 months’ notice period. This is sufficient because plenty of people are interested in living in our ecovillage. Similar projects have found that a waiting list was needed as soon as the project got to the building phase.
  • Non-payment of rent
    There is a considerable degree of social control within our group, which diminishes the risk of non-payment of rent and utilities. As our bookkeeping is done in house we will notice quickly when someone is behind on payments. This prevents the build up of financial backlogs.
  • Social risks
    A disagreement or fight could have devastating consequences for the project. As we are aware of this, we take all actions needed to prevent this. Our ‘social team’ works actively at improving social cohesion and interaction. They facilitate:

    • the optimal functioning of our admission procedure
    • self reflection and group bonding
    • our decision-making model, which is clear about each’ responsibilities

Our financial plan in short

This is a global overview of the costs for building the first 10 houses.

€ 500.000 to purchase land;

€ 400.000 for labour;

€ 400.000 for installation costs;

€ 400.000 for building materials;

total € 1,7 million

We want to finance the project like this:

€ 90.000 of our own contributions;

€ 600.000 of crowd-lending certificates;

€ 200.000 by the Nationaal Groenfonds;

€ 810.000 as loan from the bank;

total € 1,7 million

For a more detailed overview, feel free to ask for our business plan.

 

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