There are many popular platforms out there now from peer to peer lending to crowdfunded donation seeking or small business funding which can be found around the globe. We've created a list of several that vary in the model they use, the location the funds are available, or the types of projects that may be eligible. This is a small drop in a large bucket of fund raising options available. There are many more entering into the foray as the success of this grows stronger and stronger. Many countries are now in a prime position to join in and grant access to funds never before available to citizens until now. A brief look at the various possibilities show exactly how much promise this can hold for the talents and skills awaiting their ability to launch:
1. Kickstarter.com – funds creative projects in thirteen categories ranging in everything from indie films, video games, journalism, food, theater, and much more via donations. In this platform do not obtain any portion of the ownership but instead they receive "rewards" of products, benefits, or experiences. The project creator sets a funding goal and a deadline to meet that goal. If the goal is met successfully, all donors are charged the amount pledged by credit card charge from Amazon Payments. If not, no one is charged and it closes without any funding. Kickstarter's fee is 5% of the funds raised and Amazon collects an additional 3-5%. Kickstarter does permanently archive all projects and media which can never be removed, but it does not claim any ownership of the projects whatsoever.
2. Prosper.com – Considers itself America's first peer to peer lending marketplace. It's purpose is to connect people wishing to invest with those seeking investor lent funds. A borrower first lists their loan request anywhere between $2,000 to $25,000. Lenders invest can then select listings they want to invest in and it can be as little as $25. They base their selections on the available information on each listing such as credit rating, history, endorsements or affiliations that would provide recommendations and establish credibility. As the facilitator Prosper Loans Marketplace, Ltd. Services these loans for both the lender and borrower. Propser sets the loan rate based on their own criteria that is individual for each listing. This rate also influences the desirability for investors to consider for each listing. All transactions are in US dollars; lenders and borrowers must be US residents. This business model falls within the parameters of the SEC laws now after having been targeted for participating in the sale of securities. Because of the pioneering nature of other upcoming businesses also using this model's structure and the rise in popularity at the time, the SEC now has policy that mandates all peer to peer lending sales transaction companies to register with them for the sales of securities.
3. Zopa – Another peer to peer modeled lending service based in the UK. Primarily operating in the UK, they have begun to spread operations with modifications to fit within the laws in Italy, Japan. It's premise is likely the original and very similar to Prosper.com. Borrowers can seek funds in any amount between £1,000 to £15,000 over a term of for 2 to 5 years. They have categories of A*, A, B, C, or Young. The lettered categories are based primarily on credit score through Equifax, Experian, and/or Call Credit, and designated for borrowers aged 26 or up. The Young category applies to borrowers aged from 20 to 25. Each category has a rate calculator according to which category the borrower would fall into.
4. Grow VC – A literal and first of global crowdfunding platforms. Being called a Virtual Silicon Valley platform designed for early phase funding for start-ups. Their entire reason for creating this access was to never have the next big thing not happen simply because of lack of funds to get going. They already have operations in almost all major markets, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, India, and China with main offices in the UK, New York, and Hong Kong they plan to continue to expand and emphasize cross-border collaborations by creating a community of entrepreneurs and investors.
5. Chipin.com – A service for creating pledge drives and campaigns to raise and distribute funds. Campaigns for funds are provided a widget for their site and social media to hit as much networked sources up. They are also given a Chipin Page to promote the details of their ChipIn. Contributions are sent via PayPal and sent directly to the person's PayPal account.
6. Indiegogo.com – an international crowdfunding site headquartered in San Francisco, California. As of 2011, it has hosted over 45,000 funding campaigns in areas such as music, charity, small business and film. The site was launched at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The creator, Slava Rubin was quoted as having announced the site is “all about allowing anybody to raise money for any idea.” The site levies a 4% fee for successful campaigns. For campaigns that fail to raise their target amount, users have the option of either refunding all money to their contributors at no charge or keeping all money raised but with a 9% fee. Users create their own media for their fund raising efforts most often on social media sites. They consider themselves the world's largest global funding platform.
As you can see the options are nearly unlimited and yet this method of business funding is spreading every day! Don't let your talent or innovation fall by the wayside. Seek your own path to success, because there is now access on a global level for any kind of endeavor.