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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Propelling Singaporean SMEs to greater heights with fintech

From Rakesh Bhatia at Singapore Business Review:

“According to the January 2017 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social Singapore, there are currently 644.1 million people in Southeast Asia. Of which, 53% are internet users making the region ripe for growth and expansion for Fintech adoption… In Singapore, the launch of the Smart Nation initiative has identified fintech as an emerging industry. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is leading by implementing a regulatory sandbox that enables entrepreneurs to innovate further.”

Fintech refers to any new innovations in how people conduct business transactions, with the use of current technology. Since the invention of fiat currency, the recent explosion of Mobile Payments, Blockchain technology, Peer to peer Lending etc, has revolutionised the global Fintech landscape. Processes which were once handled with paper money and human interactions are now being replaced with digital currency and online transactions. With the inexorable advent of Fintech, comes significant changes and the implementation of regulations from the government. In Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) implementation of a regulatory sandbox, enables financial institutions and Fintech players to experiment with promising innovations in the market within the regulatory framework as stipulated by MAS. Based on the experiment, MAS will then decide on appropriate measures to change specific legal and regulatory requirements.

In addition, MAS commitment of S$225 million to help financial firms set up innovation labs and fund infrastructure to deliver Fintech services will lower the barriers of entry for startups and SMEs. With SMEs contributing to a large part of the economy, Fintech players provide SMEs the opportunity to secure loans, which they often find difficulties from traditional financial institutions. Where banks find loans under S$100,000 risky and time consuming, peer to peer lending platforms are more flexible with loan amounts. This would often lead to faster approvals and quicker funding for SMEs. Continue reading