Phil Geraghty, managing director of Crowdfunder.co.uk, the UK’s biggest reward-based crowdfunding platform, said, “The UK has one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial scenes in the world and we’re thrilled to see crowdfunding playing a significant part in getting fantastic ideas and businesses to market.
The plight of small businesses and the lack of funding available to them has been well documented in the past few years and many growing businesses are looking to alternative funding to get their startups and brilliant ideas off the ground.
Of course, every business is at a different point in their lifecycle but crowdfunding – in it’s broadest sense – has come to save the day for many, proving to be a true business funding strategy. From equity crowdfunding for early stage businesses, to peer-to-peer for established firms in need of loan arrangements, right through to reward based crowdfunding to help fund ideas, concepts and prototypes – the true entrepreneurial lifeblood of the UK.
Finding start-up funding is one thing, but crowdfunding can bring so much more than simply a funding strategy.
“We’re certainly seeing a proactive attitude from Brits when it comes to starting up their dreams, and as the economy grows stronger, I can only see crowdfunding and entrepreneurs working even closer as a reliable, honest and transparent funding strategy.“
He’s not wrong about the economy either. In May, 2015 the CBI released their Growth Indicator figures which only show further positive signs for the economy. They showed that UK economic growth raced ahead in the three months to May, reaching its strongest rate for a year.
On the figures, Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, commented: “As we move through the second quarter, growth has cranked up several gears and businesses expect that faster pace to continue.”
The growth is wonderful for everyone across the country and crowdfunding has already been a key contributor for this but there’s more than just business funding that businesses are coming to Crowdfunder for.
The PR and awareness gained from a crowdfunding project can be significant, while being able to source new customers is also of benefit. Crowdfunding is perfect for testing a market too. Putting your idea and concept to the public is the best way to gain feedback and insight in to what consumers really want. If they like your idea, they’ll vote with their pounds and you’ll not only get your business off the ground, you’ll have gained a fan base and first customers [and fans!] for when your idea runs off the production line.
At Crowdfunder we’ve had the pleasure of working with some really exciting start-ups and small businesses. Here’s are some great examples for inspiration…
Project: The plan was to raise £8,000 so that two entrepreneurs could launch an open-access studio for part-time potters and enthusiasts in Hackney.
Raised: They didn’t raise £8,000, they exceeded £13,000!
Funding, plus… the money made sure they could open the studio, but it was the beginning of a glorious journey. Within 18 months, they’d been able to fill the studio, gain a £25,000 start-up loan as a result, before gaining a loan from a high-street bank. From there, they’ve now secured private investment of £75,000 so it’s a fantastic example of how crowdfunding has helped the economy.
Find out more: www.turningearthceramics.co.uk
Project: The main aim is to develop and launch a collection of natural, handmade male grooming products in addition to other Bath & Body products to add to the current collections.
Raised: They needed at least £1,600 but walked away with £3,000 and 154 customers.
Funding, plus… having enough money to produce the products for new found customers, the additional money was vital in being approved by The Vegan Society which in turn raised the awareness of the brand significantly. Its crowdfunding success also gave the brand some fab national coverage in the Daily Telegraph as well as a great opportunity to apply for a Virgin Start Up Loan through Crowdfunder.
Find out more: www.okiesoapysoapshop.co.uk
Dynamite Valley Brewing Co
Project: Passionate about making beer for themselves, and friends, the guys behind Dynamite Valley Brewing wanted to make a business out of a passion.
Raised: Almost 100 people raised more than £8,000 in return for some special beer.
Funding, plus…: The crowdfunding money meant that they could purchase much needed equipment to increase the volume of beer produced, while maintaining its unique taste and quality.
Find out more: www.facebook.com/dynamitevalley
Keen to launch your project and get your SME funded?