Towards the end of 2013 I wrote a piece on Social Entrepreneurs and how the proliferation of social media networks have made it incredibly easy for entrepreneurs to connect with potential customers and business partners. Today I want to explore some thoughts around Crowd Funding and the potential that entrepreneurs have again to explore the symbiotic relationship that inherently exists between being a social entrepreneur and crowd funding.
To put this in perspective; in 2013 the global Crowd Funding industry raised 5.1 Billion US Dollars – that’s a 47% increase from the amount raised in 2012. Those kinds of numbers are enough to make anyone sit up and take notice!
Which brings me to my theory – of the link between social entrepreneurship and crowd funding.
As an entrepreneur your primary objective is to get your product or business to a place where it can live and breathe independently from you – in other words to create something that is bigger that you.
As a social entrepreneur your route to the market is to take advantage of the social networks that you have built up to test and refine your product or business idea.
Crowd funding in my opinion is the middle ground here that potentially merges these two worlds together! Crowd Funding as a concept is about giving those separate from your idea the chance to help bring life to those new ideas.
By understanding the nature of how crowd funding works; entrepreneurs can quickly understand the commercial potential of their ideas and products. In short; crowd funding is the ultimate litmus test for future viability.
Couple crowd funding to a truly socially connected entrepreneur who understands the value of an active and connected social network and you have the foundation for an agile business idea that can quickly grow into a funded and profitable organisation.
Platforms like KickStarter and StartMe are catalysts for creating successful entrepreneurs; the trick is just to get your feet wet and experiment with these sites and then learn how to use them to test your business ideas quickly and inexpensively!
What ideas have you been kicking around that are potential crowd funding gems?