How to Fix Crowdfunding Education: Teach the Fundamentals

“Crowdfunding is a participant economy driven by the crowd. And yet, we do little to nothing to educate the crowd on how they can participate and why they would want to. We cannot expect our industry to grow without making participant education a priority. Otherwise, we may face the same fate as individual campaign creators who launch without engaging the crowd first: they don’t reach their goals.”

It is true that crowdfunding is underheard of. Most people think they are rewards, donations, equity, marketing, financing, securities law or entrepreneurship.  What is crowdfunding then? The key to the financial success of it is the number of backers, not money raised. It is not about just an exercise of raising money but to bring awareness to the community of the product. There are two main sources of values that crowdfunding investors bring to tech entrepreneurs, firstly are raising awareness of the forthcoming products through social media and traditional word of mouth. Investors also served as an evangelist. Secondly, the investors also benefited from crowdfunding by not being shy of their opinion.

To break down the message and quality of meaning in crowdfunding, let’s look at social media and how crowdfunding is perceived. Almost all of the educational materials around crowdfunding are focused on the person launching the campaign and not on increasing awareness and participation from new communities of potential backers or investors. There are more rooms for backers to make crowdfunding successful. That’s aside from the fact that one of the cheapest and best educational tools for how to run a successful campaign and how to nurture relationships with backers and investors after the close of a campaign is to back other campaigns. But beyond the educational merits of backing campaigns prior to launching your own, there’s an even bigger reason we must focus our efforts on encouraging participation: impact. The majority of society feels distanced from their ability to impact larger economic forces. We don’t think that what we do can have impact – that our individual financial resources are too small to be influential.

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4,000 jobs to be created in financial services and fintech under MAS blueprint

From Tan Weizhen at TODAYonline:

“Three quarters of the new jobs will be added in the financial services sectors, and these cut across the areas of wealth management, insurance and IT, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said. The roles include those in investment advisory, risk modelling and artificial intelligence. The industry has been buffeted by disruption, posting job losses which are expected to continue especially for the more traditional roles.”

Just two days ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore released the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) for financial services, detailing growth strategies by business lines, programmes for upgrading skills, and an agenda for continuous innovation and technology adoption. Working closely with the financial industry and the tripartite movement, the MAS projected a growth rate in the financial sector of 4.3% per annum and productivity of 2.4% annually.

The ITM is built upon MAS’ vision for Singapore to be a leading global financial centre in Asia. Minister for Education and MAS board member, Mr Ong Ye Kung, described Singapore as one that connects global markets, supports Asia’s development and serves Singapore’s economy. With the rise of digital disruption such as artificial intelligence and robo-advisors, Singapore will need to continue to innovate to stay ahead.

While the creation of 4,000 jobs might seem idealistic, the MAS is determined to be net gainers in this era of change. The ITM strategies also include building private market funding platforms to enable startups to gain access to a wider array of investors, which could be done through crowdfunding platforms, apart from the traditional route of IPOs. Continue reading