Invest in the expansion of a sustainable supermarket



“We created HISBE to transform the UK’s food industry, because right now it just isn't sustainable. There needs to be a great shift in the way people shop for food and we think supermarkets can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

At HISBE, we're on a mission to reinvent the way supermarkets do business and we are doing things very differently, to show that it is possible to buck convention and break the mould.”

Ruth Anslow – Director and Co-Founder, HISBE

HISBE – How It Should Be

HISBE Food CIC (‘HISBE’) is a rebel supermarket based in Brighton, set up to demonstrate an alternative way of shopping. 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 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 steadily growing proportion of the offer.

  • LOW WASTE. Offer 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 and Hove.

HISBE has been lossmaking and been funded to date through loans whilst it reaches sufficient scale. The operation of the second store in Worthing is forecast to bring the company to profitability, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Social and environmental impact

  • HISBE is a social enterprise and as a community interest company (CIC) 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 in to the local economy. For every £1 HISBE spends, 57 pence is spent locally (in Sussex) on stock, wages and services.

The bond offer

HISBE seeks to raise £450,000 through this bond offer. The money raised will fund the fit-out of the shop, working capital and the anticipated first year trading loss. With a second shop, HISBE can scale the operation and reach financial stability.

HMRC has provided advance assurance that the bonds should meet the qualifying conditions for Social Investment Tax Relief. SITR is available to individual UK taxpayers who invest in qualifying social enterprises.

The main benefit of SITR for investors is the ability to offset 30% of the investment amount against income tax liability for the current year. The tax treatment of SITR depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future.

As the investment qualifies for SITR, it cannot be held in an Innovative Finance ISA.

Key terms



Target amount



7 years, repayable in full on 31 January 2027

Minimum investment



5% gross per year payable on 31 January each year commencing in 2021, (net of UK basic rate tax). Payment of interest and repayment of capital are not guaranteed and are dependent on HISBE's successful expansion. Interest will accrue from the date the bonds are issued.


The bonds are unsecured, so bondholders will rank equally with HISBE’s other unsecured creditors and behind any secured creditors and preferential creditors on insolvency.

Early repayment option

The directors can, at their sole discretion, repay the bonds in full from 31 January 2023.

Social Investment Tax Relief

HISBE has received advance assurance from HMRC that the bonds should qualify for SITR, however SITR qualification is not a certainty and can only be applied for once the bonds are issued.


Bonds are transferable but are not listed on any investment exchange which means that bondholders will have to find a willing buyer and agree a purchase price with them. Investors should therefore be prepared to hold the bonds for their full 7-year term.

Minimum raise

The minimum raise for the offer is £400,000. If less than £400,000 is raised, monies will be returned to investors with no accrued interest.


Close planned for noon on 27 February 2020 unless the £450,000 target has been reached earlier or the offer is extended by the directors at their sole discretion.

Risk warning

Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Payment of interest and capital is not guaranteed and is dependent on HISBE’s successful expansion. Tax reliefs are not guaranteed.

Download the offer document by logging in or registering.

  • £450,000 of £450,000
  • 0 hour left
  • 100% raised
Minimum investment



7 years


5% per year

Tax relief

SITR eligible

Offer Closed