Main outputs of 7th CrowdCamp Session 1: Crowdfunding a catalyst for financial interventions?
EUROCROWD’s 7th Crowdcamp took place in Bilbao on 16 and 17 June. The first session highlighted topics such as sustainability, the EU Green Deal and how this can affect crowdfunding. The discussion began with an explanation on the value of microfinances to fight against inequality and social exclusion, and how during the pandemic alternative ways of fundraising were crucial. The speech was focused on the importance of establishing a finance model that promotes a sustainable and ethical way of doing finance, building a more inclusive and accessible Europe for all.
The session continued with a discussion on the ESG as a key for European businesses and financial services under the EU Green Deal. The conversation was directed, to the role of public administrations and governments and the instruments they can use to encourage corporations to work in a more sustainable way. Speakers concluded that it is essential that the public and private sector work together. In the case of the companies, adapting to sustainability is not only a question of survival but also an opportunity to change, having access to new markets and new customers. Crowdfunding could be an answer for these companies to start the change and create the impact that they are looking for. Moreover, the topic of Greenwashing was introduced, affirming that this could affect the measurement of progress on sustainability, and for this reason, transparency is key.
It was highlighted the importance of introducing Green EU Trademarks in platforms since many companies are using it for fundraising in the early stages of their businesses, when protecting intellectual rights is fundamental.
In addition, it was observed that with the new EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, the SDGs are going to play a more important role than they currently do. Crowdfunding platforms can offer the opportunity to report the SDGs that project holders comply within their initiatives, therefore, investors will be able to obtain information with greater clarity on the impact of their investments.
It was emphasised the importance of ensuring that different funding mechanisms can work in a coordinated way to achieve sustainability goals and having methods that can measure the impact.
Speakers agreed that there is a financial gap for early-stage companies and it was explained that crowdfunding platforms can cover this gap. For this, some platforms are setting structures to interconnect private funding tools.
In short, crowdfunding platforms that incorporate impact-oriented infrastructures and count with reporting of SDGs models, will facilitate the establishment of crowdfunding as an attractive tool to finance environmentally sustainable projects and to involve citizens, as well as institutional investors in their operations. This could position Europe as a leader in crowdfunding for sustainable development.