Your luck might be about to change if you’re an entrepreneur or inventor who has had every door slammed in your face when you’ve gone looking for startup money from traditional banks. People are using the Internet to take things into their own hands thanks to ‘crowdfunding.’
With crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can go straight to the American people for financial support. You post info about what you’re trying to start and you offer people that will fund you some kind of reward. It could be something as simple as a mention of their names in the credits of your independent film, as just one example.
Borrowers only get the startup money they’re seeking if enough people agree to put up little chunks. If you don’t get 100% funding for a potential project, you get no money at all and all funds are returned to your potential patrons.
One of the most prominent crowdfunding sites is Kickstarter.com. While someone might lend money on a traditional peer-to-peer lending site like Prosper.com or LendingClub.com to earn a nice return on investment, that’s typically not the motivation for people lending money on a site like Kickstarter. The Kickstarter user is more apt to just want to help entrepreneurs or creative types realize an idea.
Another crowdfunding site is Kiva.com, which allows people to fund loans to entrepreneurs in $25 increments or higher. Again, people don’t do this to earn interest like they might on Prosper or LendingClub. All you do is help entrepreneurs get started, and supposedly over half a million people have received money from Kiva, which claims a 99% repayment rate.
MicroPlace.com is a similar site where you can support entrepreneurs around the world. But unlike Kiva, you actually earn some nominal interest on your investment. MicroPlace claims a 98% repayment rate.
If you have an entrepreneurial idea and the bank has no interest in you or your idea, check these things out. There may be money out there to make your idea come alive.