As part of the Santander Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme, I have the opportunity to run a crowdfunding campaign from 1st to 29th September with Crowdfunder. Whilst it’s not something I had originally considered for Rural Business Network, I want to take advantage of the webinars and coaching so I can pass on my experience to members.
But first, what is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is precisely what is says on the tin, raising funds through a crowd of people. It may seem like a new idea, but it actually has a history going back to the 1700’s. Modern-day crowdfunding where people and businesses raise money from a large group of people, has its origins in 1997 when rock band Marillion funded their reunion tour with online donations.
There are 4 main types of crowdfunding:
- Donation crowdfunding channels money from people who support a cause or want to fund a social, ecological or humanitarian project.
- Reward crowdfunding offers perks in return for investment in the business idea or creative venture.
- Debt crowdfunding offers an alternative to mainstream lending for individuals and businesses. (Also called peer-to-peer lending.)
- Equity crowdfunding provides capital for start-ups and new ventures in return for a stake in the business.
Crowdfunder is the UK’s biggest crowdfunding platform. Over £70 million has been raised thanks to over 650,000 people, supporting 175,000 great ideas. It also has a pot of £5 million+ of extra funding from the public and private sector for projects (depending on what and where you are). They also have experts who are on hand to help every step of the way.
To make the network the best it can be I need to recruit a marketing and events assistant. As there are not enough members at this time to enable me to pay wages, I will be asking the crowd to fund the first 4 months of the new recruit’s salary and to purchase a laptop and phone.
The Rural Business Network crowdfunding campaign will be a reward-based campaign. There will be options to become a friend or supporter and there will be special offers for membership and the opportunity to bag tickets for a celebration event in January next year.
Keep on eye on the Crowdfunder Campaign page as details will be released soon.