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Reflecting on an Insightful Discussion: Crowdfunding and Sustainable Social Entrepreneurship Event Recap

by EUROCROWD on 30.01.2024

On January 26, 2024, EUROCROWD, in collaboration with SEIDE@CRO, hosted an event exploring the intersection of crowdfunding and sustainable social entrepreneurship. The discussion aimed to shed light on the challenges and opportunities within the realm of alternative finance, offering a nuanced perspective on the landscape.

The event began with an overview by the European Commission, DG GROW, of its efforts to support the crowdfunding sector since 2013, outlining both soft and hard policies. The trajectory will conclude with a review of the impact the European Crowdfunding Service Provider Regulation will deliver by 2024/25, with potential adaptations to the law if necessary. The EC stressed that by enabling crowdfunding for businesses through a bespoke legal framework, policymakers now need to witness market uptake and relevant scale to confirm their expectations. However, there is and remains a strong understanding of and support for the benefits crowdfunding can bring to European society and the economy.

EUROCROWD outlined the overall conditions impacting capital flows in the capital markets and, based on research done by Seide@Cro, outlined the most likely skill set needed by entrepreneurs to fully benefit from crowdfunding. Additionally, the lack of overall financial literacy as well as technical literacy was highlighted. From both data and market experience, it has become clear that financial knowledge, digital tools, and business skills are essential for successful crowdfunding campaigns. The discussion recognized the crucial role in an environment where technical and financial literacy is often lacking—a topic that Seide@Cro addressed through the development and testing of a comprehensive training curriculum for adults. The main question for the following discussion was how to align the discrepancy between needed skills and available skills under the premise of extensive market growth.

Growfunding, the Brussels-based, social impact-focused crowdfunding platform, shared in-depth experience and approaches to dealing with relevant deficiencies and showcased hands-on examples. The specialized approach and close collaboration with project owners and the platform, as well as the broader network of experts and alumni, are key success factors for Growfunding. The platform can create synergies from the experience and knowledge owned by its network and, following careful onboarding of promising impact projects, can achieve extremely high success rates of up to 100% for projects within regional contexts.

The overarching goal was to make alternative financing more accessible, ensuring entrepreneurs with varying skill levels can benefit from its potential. The subsequent open discussion with experts from Growfunding, Belgium, and Tokeportal, Hungary, showed a high level of interactivity and interest from participants. The discussion also touched on aspects of Microfinance and other alternative funding forms and drew comparisons and opportunities for collaboration. Participants had the opportunity to discover and discuss effective ways to raise funds for projects and business ideas, with a special emphasis on sustainability and positive social initiatives. The event was a unique chance for individuals to enhance their crowdfunding expertise and contribute to building a more inclusive financial landscape.

We thank everyone who joined the conversation, bringing diverse perspectives to the table.