Crowdfunding of Small Entrepreneurial Ventures
HANDBOOK OF ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2010
Date Written: September 28, 2010
An inherent problem that entrepreneurs face at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial initiative is to attract outside capital, given the lack of collateral and sufficient cash flows and the presence of significant information asymmetry with investors. Recently, some entrepreneurs have started to rely on the Internet to directly seek financial help from the general public (the “crowd”) instead of approaching financial investors such as business angels, banks or venture capital funds. This technique, called “crowdfunding”, has made possible to seek capital for project-specific investments as well as for starting up new ventures.
In this book chapter (forthcoming in the Handbook of Entrepreneurial Finance at Oxford University Press), we discuss crowdfunding as an alternative way of financing projects, with a focus on small, entrepreneurial ventures. We provide a description of crowdfunding and discusses existing research on the topic, putting crowdfunding into perspective of entrepreneurial finance and thereby describing factors affecting entrepreneurial preferences for crowdfunding as source of finance. We elaborate different business models used to raise money from the crowd, in particular with respect to the structure of the crowdfunding process. Building on this discussion, we present and discuss extensively a case study, namely Media No Mad (a French startup). Finally we conclude with recommendations for entrepreneurs seeking to make use of crowdfunding and with suggestions for researchers about yet unexplored avenues of research.
Keywords: crowdfunding, entrepreneurial finance, social networks
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