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Gareth Johnson and Marshall Mayer are the co-founders of Let’s Buy An Island, and as the name suggests, they set out to do just that.
The project that began back in 2018 with the two men launching a crowd-funding campaign. From this they were able to raise £250,000 through investors to purchase an uninhabited island in the Caribbean.
As they set out to buy an island, Johnson and Mayer promised to develop the area for tourism. They also said they would be sharing the profits and allow everyone to live their own "private island fantasy."
By the time December 2019 rolled by, the buddies had raised enough money to buy Coffee Island, a 1.2-acre island off the coast of Belize.
"🚨 WE. DID. IT! 🚨 We are now the proud owners of Coffee Island in Belize! The LBI investment group officially closed on the deal this morning," they announced on their Instagram.
"It’s been a long two years but we wanted to do this right and the deal was financed and officially closed today. It isn’t too late to get in on the fun and there are still shares available, you will instantly own part of an island and get on the property ladder. Check out our website today! 🏝️🇧🇿🏝️🇧🇿🏝️" they added.
The mini island has yet to be officially recognized as a nation but it does benefit from many of the features of an autonomous country. Meaning that it has its own national flag, anthem, and government.
"We are as close to a nation as you can get, without getting an army and a navy," Johnson said.
On their website, letsbuyanisland.com, internet surfers are given options to either become an investor or a citizen.
As of writing, it appears as though there are currently 249 citizens. "Anyone can be a citizen of Islandia for a very small donation. We are currently aiming for 5,000 registered citizens," reads the blurb.
"Citizenship is a great way to support the project, and get insider deals as we begin offering the island for rent. You’ll get deals on other great products too, plus you’ll always stay on top of everything else we’re up to. Paid up citizens receive either a digital, or physical membership card (depending on your preference), and are invited to be active members of the Principality of Islandia Facebook Group."
As for investors, it's claimed there are 96 of them: "In 2018 we began to accept investors with the understanding that once we hit a minimum number we would buy an island regardless. The golden number was hit quickly! We have since purchased Coffee Island in Belize, becoming the first group to successfully crowd source buying an island."
It continued, "By becoming an investor ($3250) you will not only become an owner of a tropical island, but be part of the decision making process as we build up our island into a profit making enterprise. Explore our site to learn more about the project, the island, and the micronation we have founded – and get in touch with us to become an investor."
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