Secret Projects Community Benefit Society Investment Questions and Answers.

Secret Projects Community Benefit Society Investment Questions and Answers.

 20th Jan 2020 |  Invest |  Fritha Mason


Since taking the decision to place Secret Projects up for sale and beginning to sell shares in Secret Projects Community Benefit Society (Secret Projects CBS) last November, our Directors have spoken to hundreds of people, all of whom have had a myriad of questions about what it actually means to invest in Secret Projects.

A number of similar themes have come up in these conversations and we wanted to highlight them with the answers - a little like a Frequently Asked Questions information sheet!

Following the question and answer section, we thought it would be helpful to explain in a series of short clips put together by Secret Projects CEO, Fritha Mason, exactly what happens when you make an investment of £50, £500, £1000, £10,000 and £15,000.

Question: What is the difference between a community share and a 'normal' share?

Answer: Ordinary shares can be transferred to another person, but Community shares cannot be sold or transferred to another person during the lifetime of the shareholder. An investor holding a community share can get their investment back by applying to the company to withdraw their capital.

Question: If I invest £50, how much money will I make over 5 years?

Answer: If the company makes profit, you will earn between £6 and £7.50 on your £50 investment over 5 years. This is equal to 12% to 15% return on your investment.

Nb. Please see 'Investment levels explained' for more in depth information about this important aspect of investing in Secret Projects.

Question: I have invested in this wonderful business but was wondering if I can keep my interest in with my shares and buy more shares each year?

Answer: Yes you can use your interest to buy more shares.

Question: Is it possible for businesses outside of the UK to invest? What are the advantages for a business to invest?

Answer: Yes, businesses outside the UK can invest. High value is attached by customers, suppliers and employees to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is about a business playing their responsible part and giving back to the society. A business investing in the Secret Projects CBS community share offer can list this under their CSR achievements. In addition, the business will receive interest on the investment just like any other shareholder.

Question: Can you 'gift' the shares?

Answer: Yes, you can gift the shares to anyone (child or adult). You simply back the campaign and once it ends you will be emailed a form that needs filling in for each of the people that you are investing for. Our Membership Administrator will support everyone with the necessary admin.

Question: What is EIS?

Answer: Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is an income tax relief offered by HMRC to individual investors who buy shares in a Social Enterprise that meets certain conditions. The tax relief is 30% off the investor's tax bill for the year.

Examples of EIS tax relief are as follows:

An investment of £500, can qualify for £150 in tax relief

An investment of £1000, can qualify for £300 back in tax relief

An investment of £5000, can qualify for for £1,500

An investment of £10,000 can qualify for £3,000 relief

Nb. Please see 'Investment levels explained' for more in depth information about this important aspect of investing in Secret Projects.

Question: I know this is a special sort of company as this is a social business, can you explain what the difference is?

Answer: This is a great question! Our business is a special sort of business. It is a Community Benefit Society. It is a very old business model that is having a revival at the moment. We are using the Community Benefit Society model in quite a unique way. here is a great video that explains what a Community Benefit Society is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLaflsVoLi8&feature=emb_logo

Question: Do I have to declare any interest made on my tax form?

Answer: We will not deduct tax from any interest paid, so it is your responsibility to declare it on your tax return.

Question: Can I give my shares to someone else?

Answer: The nature of Community Shares is that you cannot give them to anyone once they have been issued to you officially. You can however, sell them back to Secret Projects Community Benefit Society. (Please see the following question for more information on this important issue.)

The only situation where a shareholder can pass their shares onto another person is through a will.

Nb. Please see the following question for further information.

Question: Can I get my money out of the business if I need to?

Answer: Yes. Investors can request to withdraw funds in year 2 (if they have not claimed under EIS) or after year 4 if they have claimed EIS tax relief.

As the CBS rule caps aggregate equity that can be repaid to investors at 10% of total equity of the business per year, equity withdrawal request will be processed on a first come first served basis.

To ensure that the interests of all the stakeholders in the organisation are well considered, withdrawal of equity can be suspended by the directors for a period if it is not prudent to pay out.

Investment level's explained

What happens if I make an investment of £50? 

What happens if I make an investment of £500?

What happens if I make an investment of £1000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

What happens if I make an investment of £10,000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

What happens if I make an investment of £15,000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

Our first share offer closes on January 31st 2020. For more information, please email: invest@secretprojects.org

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We are very glad to be part of #shopethicalinstead

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Journey with us to Eastern India to the Heart of Secret Projects - 21st-30th November 2023

Journey with us to Eastern India to the Heart of Secret Projects - 21st-30th November 2023

Let us show you our India... Travel with us to our beloved India and experience this glorious country the Secret Projects way!  Join us in Eastern . . . India for a special journey to the heart of Secret Projects for 10 nights from 21st -30th November 2023. Book by 31st December and receive a 10% Early bird discount Important information: The beginning of our journey together Our journey together begins in Kolkata on Tuesday 21st November with a welcome dinner at 8pm local time. Please arrive in good time to join us at this special meal to celebrate the beginning of our time together.  If you would prefer to arrive in Kolkata the day before (20th November) to give yourself time to relax before the Secret Projects journey begins the following day, please let us know and we will arrange for an extra night to be added to your hotel booking. Please note: there will be an additional charge for the extra night's accommodation. On the final day of our journey together We end our journey together as we began, in Kolkata, this time with a goodbye dinner on Thursday 30th November at 8pm local time. We stay on this final night in our hotel and depart the following morning (1st December) to catch outbound flights home or, to continue your time in India. Again, if you would like to remain at the hotel for further nights, please let us know and we can make the arrangements. Please note: there will be an additional charge for the extra night's accommodation. The full itinerary and other information can be found below. We are absolutely overjoyed to warmly invite you to join us on our first post-pandemic Customer Trip.  A journey to the heart of Secret Projects in Eastern India. Our Customer Trips are very much part of the fabric of Secret Projects and we feel honoured to be able to share our story and provide our Shareholders, Customers and Friends with an opportunity to visit the beating heart of our business. Great thought and care have gone into the itinerary to ensure that our travellers experience India both on and off the beaten track in all her glory. You will be immersed in the colour and vibrancy of this wonderful country as you travel between the bustling city of Kolkata that teems with life and The Sundarbans, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. Travelling with Secret Projects takes you far beyond the realms of the average tourist. Of course, you will have plenty of opportunities to see the sights, savour Indian food and immerse yourself in all that India has to offer. Yet Secret Projects takes you deeper into a side of India not seen by many, as you visit our Maker Group in the Sundarbans, and witness first-hand the working relationship we have with a group of local women who stitch for us and the impactful NGO that supports the women. We absolutely can’t wait to introduce you. We will also meet up with one of our oldest friends, Molly who runs her own sewing unit for young women and was an integral part of the production of our now-famous Secret Sari Dresses. You will witness first-hand how sewing productions can drive women’s economic empowerment and see how your investment, custom and support make it possible. Your Hosts We are delighted to introduce you to Banke Ajayi, Secret Projects (UK) Finance Director, Sumathi Sumi, Director of Social Power India, our India sister company and Margaret Ring, our Communications Director of Secret Projects (UK) who will lead the trip, making sure you are well looked after. In the Sundarbans, we will also meet up with Lissy, our Quality Controller for Social Power India. Payment and booking The cost of the Customer Trip is $2,750 per person. (This is based on a group of 12 and includes all internal travel) The following is not included in the cost of the Customer Trip: International inbound and outbound flights Travel Insurance Cost of tourist visa All drinks, both soft and alcoholic during and outside mealtimes Single occupancy rooms. If you would like a single room, we can provide a quote. Payment for your trip can be made in full, or in instalments if more convenient and full details of how to pay can be found here. A booking confirmation will be sent to you via email. We will also provide you with as much useful information as we possibly can in the run-up to your Customer Trip, including our top tips for travelling in India. To book your place or to ask us questions please email: travel@secretprojects.org Just a note: If you are thinking of extending your time in India to explore other regions, we will do our best to support you with this. We may be able to make bookings on your behalf or, suggest other Travel Operators within India. What’s in store... Tuesday 21st November - day/night one: We commence our shared journey with a welcome dinner in Kolkata to provide us with a chance to get to know each other and find our ‘Indian feet.’ Wednesday 22nd November - day/night two: The day begins after breakfast followed by a 3 (or so) hour drive in a Tempo Traveller (that will be at our disposal for the entire trip) to the Sundarbans. The Sundarbans is a truly beautiful World Heritage Site and such a wonderful place to spend time. However, we can’t forget that its remoteness makes it a target for gangs of human traffickers. Women who earn an income are much less likely to fall into the hands of traffickers and that is exactly why we began our relationship with our Sundarbans Maker Group, who you will meet tomorrow, to provide women with fairly paid stitching work, empowering each one economically. Thursday 23rd November - day/night three: We travel together through breathtaking scenery to the area where our Sundarbans Maker Group is based, spending the day with the women and the team behind the NGO that also supports the group. Friday 24th November - day/night four: It’s a busy day today as we meet up again with the Sundarbans Makers, as well as one of our oldest friends, Molly who we have briefly introduced earlier. Molly runs her own sewing unit for young women in a nearby town - she is an inspiration to us. We will also fit in a visit to one of the local markets, taking in the sights and perhaps making a purchase (or two) of something to remind you of your time in this unique region of the world. Saturday 25th November - day/night five: Enjoy a day of leisure today. We have some excellent ideas for you. Perhaps get acquainted with Bengal Tigers (if it’s your lucky day!) on a Tiger Trek, visit one of the local markets for another spot of shopping, or simply relax, read and reflect on your Indian journey so far. The day is yours! Sunday 26th November - day/night six: It’s a day of competition, feedback, and insight for our Makers. We have worked with the women over the year, asking them to stitch products to showcase to you today. Your job is to choose the one/s you feel would be great for Secret Projects to produce with the Makers to sell on the international market. This is a key day for the women and will provide each one with a beneficial understanding of markets and trends. Monday 27th November - day/night seven: It’s back to Kolkata today and after freshening up at our hotel, we visit Mother House, the final resting place of Mother Theresa. A place of great peace and pilgrimage. Tuesday 28th November - day/night eight: Come with us today to Freeset, a Charity with an aim so close to our own hearts, to provide employment opportunities for women affected by human trafficking. We haven’t visited Freeset for a number of years due to the pandemic and it will be wonderful to catch up with this inspirational organisation. We know you will be as affected by their work as much we are. Wednesday 29th November - day/night nine: One can’t visit India without taking a train ride and that’s our job for today, to help you experience the joys of the Indian rail system. Tonight, your hosts take a night off, giving you all an opportunity to dine together in town at a restaurant of your choice. Thursday 30th November - day/night ten: Today is all about finding out more about traditional Indian dress, as we descend upon one of the most famous Saree markets in the city. The colours, noise and vibrancy of this market will live in your memories for many years to come. We end the day with our final meal together – a time to share our memories and highlights of the trip and swap details for keeping in touch. Friday 1st December: Make your preparations to either board your flights back home or continue your journey in this glorious land - both with huge smiles on your faces and a head bursting with new and wonderful memories. Just a note: Although we work hard to follow the itinerary closely, we do want to highlight that it may be subject to change should circumstances change. We will do our very best to notify you of any changes well ahead of time, if possible. And last but by no means least, here is what a couple of our travellers have to say about experiencing India the Secret Projects way... I could never have imagined just how wonderful the trip with Secret Projects was! Upon landing I was given such a warm welcome & immediately felt at home with the rest of the group. The days were wonderfully structured and we saw things I never thought I would experience. Meeting the women in the units was incredibly emotional on so many levels and ultimately so inspiring to see what Secret Projects has achieved with them. I really hope I get the opportunity to go back again someday & I will forever treasure the memories of this trip...❤️ Whitney, Traveller on the Secret Projects 2019 East India Customer Trip We thank you warmly and wholeheartedly for travelling with us to India and ask that you keep in touch with us. We absolutely love seeing our travellers' photographs and reminiscing with you from time to time about our time together in our beloved India. Photo montage: images from our Customer Trip to Kolkata and The Sundarbans 2019  
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Our Customer Trips are back! Journey with us to Eastern India November 21st -30th 2023

Our Customer Trips are back! Journey with us to Eastern India November 21st -30th 2023

Let us show you our India... Travel with us to our beloved India and experience this glorious country the Secret Projects way!  Join us in Eastern . . . India for a special journey to the heart of Secret Projects for 10 nights from 21st -30th November 2023. Important information: The beginning of our journey together Our journey together begins in Kolkata on Tuesday 21st November with a welcome dinner at 8pm local time. Please arrive in good time to join us at this special meal to celebrate the beginning of our time together.  If you would prefer to arrive in Kolkata the day before (20th November) to give yourself time to relax before the Secret Projects journey begins the following day, please let us know and we will arrange for an extra night to be added to your hotel booking. Please note: there will be an additional charge for the extra night's accommodation. On the final day of our journey together We end our journey together as we began, in Kolkata, this time with a goodbye dinner on Thursday 30th November at 8pm local time. We stay on this final night in our hotel and depart the following morning (1st December) to catch outbound flights home or, to continue your time in India. Again, if you would like to remain at the hotel for further nights, please let us know and we can make the arrangements. Please note: there will be an additional charge for the extra night's accommodation. The full itinerary and other information can be found below. A journey to the heart of Secret Projects. Join us in Eastern India for a spectacular journey. Departing in November 2023 for 10 nights We are absolutely overjoyed to warmly invite you to join us on our first post-pandemic Customer Trip – A journey to the heart of Secret Projects. Our Customer Trips are very much part of the fabric of Secret Projects and we feel honoured to be able to share our story and provide our Shareholders, Customers and Friends with an opportunity to visit the beating heart of our business. Great thought and care have gone into the itinerary to ensure that our travellers experience India both on and off the beaten track in all her glory. You will be immersed in the colour and vibrancy of this wonderful country as you travel between the bustling city of Kolkata that teems with life and The Sundarbans, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. Travelling with Secret Projects takes you far beyond the realms of the average tourist. Of course, you will have plenty of opportunities to see the sights, savour Indian food and immerse yourself in all that India has to offer. Yet Secret Projects takes you deeper into a side of India not seen by many, as you visit our Maker Group in the Sundarbans, and witness first-hand the working relationship we have with a group of local women who stitch for us and the impactful NGO that supports the women. We absolutely can’t wait to introduce you. We will also meet up with one of our oldest friends, Molly who runs her own sewing unit for young women and was an integral part of the production of our now-famous Secret Sari Dresses. You will witness first-hand how sewing productions can drive women’s economic empowerment and see how your investment, custom and support make it possible. Your Hosts We are delighted to introduce you to Banke Ajayi, Secret Projects (UK) Finance Director, Sumathi Sumi, Director of Social Power India, our India sister company and Margaret Ring, our Communications Director of Secret Projects (UK) who will lead the trip, making sure you are well looked after. In the Sundarbans, we will also meet up with Lissy, our Quality Controller for Social Power India. Payment and booking The cost of the Customer Trip is $2,750 per person. (This is based on a group of 12 and includes all internal travel) The following is not included in the cost of the Customer Trip: International inbound and outbound flights Travel Insurance Cost of tourist visa All drinks, both soft and alcoholic during and outside mealtimes Single occupancy rooms. If you would like a single room, we can provide a quote. Payment for your trip can be made in full, or in instalments if more convenient and details of how to pay can be found here. A booking confirmation will be sent to you via email. We will also provide you with as much useful information as we possibly can in the run-up to your Customer Trip, including our top tips for travelling in India. To book your place or to ask us questions please email: travel@secretprojects.org Just a note: If you are thinking of extending your time in India to explore other regions, we will do our best to support you with this. We may be able to make bookings on your behalf or, suggest other Travel Operators within India. What’s in store... Tuesday 21st November - day/night one: We commence our shared journey with a welcome dinner in Kolkata to give us chance to get to know each other and find our ‘Indian feet.’ Wednesday 22nd November - day/night two: The day begins after breakfast followed by a 3 (or so) hours drive in a Tempo Traveller (that will be at our disposal for the entire trip) to the Sundarbans. The Sundarbans is a truly beautiful World Heritage Site and such a wonderful place to spend time. However, we can’t forget that its remoteness makes it a target for gangs of human traffickers. Women who earn an income are much less likely to fall into the hands of traffickers and that is exactly why we began our relationship with our Sundarbans Maker Group, who you will meet tomorrow, to provide women with fairly paid stitching work, empowering each one economically. Thursday 23rd November - day/night three: We travel together through breathtaking scenery to the area where our Sundarbans Maker Group is based, spending the day with the women and the team behind the NGO that also supports the group. Friday 24th November - day/night four: It’s a busy day today as we meet up again with the Sundarbans Makers, as well as one of our oldest friends, Molly who we have briefly introduced earlier. Molly runs her own sewing unit for young women in a nearby town - she is an inspiration to us. We will also fit in a visit to one of the local markets, taking in the sights and perhaps making a purchase (or two) of something to remind you of your time in this unique region of the worl Saturday 25th November - day/night five: Enjoy a day of leisure today. We have some excellent ideas for you. Perhaps get acquainted with Bengal Tigers (if it’s your lucky day!) on a Tiger Trek, visit one of the local markets for another spot of shopping, or simply relax, read and reflect on your Indian journey so far. The day is yours! Sunday 26th November - day/night six: It’s a day of competition, feedback, and insight for our Makers. We have worked with the women over the year, asking them to stitch products to showcase to you today. Your job is to choose the one/s you feel would be great for Secret Projects to produce with the Makers to sell on the international market. This is a key day for the women and will provide each one with a beneficial understanding of markets and trends. Monday 27th November - day/night seven: It’s back to Kolkata today and after freshening up at our hotel, we visit Mother House, the final resting place of Mother Theresa. A place of great peace and pilgrimage. Tuesday 28th November - day/night eight: Come with us today to Freeset, a Charity with an aim so close to our own hearts, to provide employment opportunities for women affected by human trafficking. We haven’t visited Freeset for a number of years due to the pandemic and it will be wonderful to catch up with this inspirational organisation. We know you will be as affected by their work as much we are. Wednesday 29th November - day/night nine: One can’t visit India without taking a train ride and that’s our job for today, to help you experience the joys of the Indian rail system. Tonight, your hosts take a night off, giving you all an opportunity to dine together in town at a restaurant of your choice. Thursday 30th November - day/night ten: Today is all about finding out more about traditional Indian dress, as we descend upon one of the most famous Saree markets in the city. The colours, noise and vibrancy of this market will live in your memories for many years to come. We end the day with our final meal together – a time to share our memories and highlights of the trip and swap details for keeping in touch. Friday 1st December: Make your preparations to either board your flights back home or continue your journey in this glorious land - both with huge smiles on your faces and a head bursting with new and wonderful memories. Just a note: Although we work hard to follow the itinerary closely, we do want to highlight that it may be subject to change should circumstances change. We will do our very best to notify you of any changes well ahead of time, if possible. And last but by no means least, here is what a couple of our travellers have to say about experiencing India the Secret Projects way... I could never have imagined just how wonderful the trip with Secret Projects was! Upon landing I was given such a warm welcome & immediately felt at home with the rest of the group. The days were wonderfully structured and we saw things I never thought I would experience. Meeting the women in the units was incredibly emotional on so many levels and ultimately so inspiring to see what Secret Projects has achieved with them. I really hope I get the opportunity to go back again someday & I will forever treasure the memories of this trip...❤️ Whitney, Traveller on the Secret Projects 2019 East India Customer Trip We thank you warmly and wholeheartedly for travelling with us to India and ask that you keep in touch with us. We absolutely love seeing our travellers' photographs and reminiscing with you from time to time about our time together in our beloved India.   Photo montage: a selection of images from Secret Projects Customer Trip to Kolkata and The Sundarbans 2019.
Continue reading >