Fostering the crowdfunding environment in Europe

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The European Crowdfunding Network, in co-operation with its founding member WEBclusive, has been awared a short term support project of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology under its Startup Europe initiative. The project, running under the name Startup Europe Crowdfunding Network is aimed to support the Digital Agenda of the European Commission in placing particular emphasis on innovation, web-entrepreneurship and competitiveness, as a prerequisite for economic growth and jobs.

The Startup Europe Crowdfunding Network will help foster the crowdfunding environment in Europe focused on web entrepreneurs by:

  • Acquiring additional data and knowledge about the current status of the web related crowdfunding sector in Europe
  • Based on the above, drawing some conclusions on the possible measures which would further strengthen the crowd funding environment and facilitate the pan-European growth of the sector.
  • Supporting higher visibility and accessibility of existing crowd funding opportunities for web-entrepreneurs Europe wide.
  • Contributing to strengthening the links and networking between existing European crowdfunding platforms, as well as to foster the creation of new, web focused platforms.
  • Raising the level of education of funders and web entrepreneurs as regards investmentopportunities and access to finance through crowdfunding.

Growth and jobs, especially for youth, are created largely by web businesses. The impact of we businesses will further grow in the future, as they will capitalise on a global customer base and on powerful new functionalities, such as mobility, sensors, big data, social media, etc.

To help European start-ups become global leaders in those fields, the European Commission is strengthening the environment for entrepreneurs seeking to start and develop web businesses, as well as at providing direct support for web entrepreneurs. One of the priorities is to facilitate access to funding opportunities for web startups, and crowdfunding is one of the areas targeted.

In the short and medium term, the overall objectives of the European Commission initiative are:

  • to contribute to establishing crowdfunding as a viable and attractive concept for investors and webstartups;
  • to raise the level of education and training of entrepreneurs and funders by providing web entrepreneurswith easy access to information on how to run a successful campaign, identifying which type ofcrowdfunding is best for their business, or educating funders on how to choose a campaign;
  • to stimulate the growth of existing crowdfunding platforms and encourage the emergence of new ones,specialised in web startups;
  • to facilitate access of web entrepreneurs to different crowdfunding platforms in the EU, by ensuring networking, visibility and, ultimately, interconnectivity among existing EU crowdfunding platformsfocused on web based businesses;
  • to create stronger and more competitive European crowdfunding brands in the financial market, in lightof emerging international competition.
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