Monday, 6 January 2014

#5: Make a crowdfunding donation

I'd like to be more philanthropic and help an entrepreneurial venture, but I just don't have the time or the money to make much of a difference. Or at least I thought I didn't.

Crowdfunding has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties. Crowdfunding is the application of this concept to the collection of funds through small contributions from many parties in order to finance a particular project or venture.

As someone who started a small business (popcorn, if you're wondering) myself, I understand the problems of getting a new business off the ground probably more than most people. Financing and raising money is hard at the best of times, but nowadays it's even harder.

I wanted to make a small contribution to entrepreneurs that would struggle to get traditional financing. Scanning through the opportunities in London, I came across a Cat Cafe. Off-beat, quirky and based on a successful Japanese concept, this business idea was so crazy that I knew banks wouldn't back it, but it was just crazy enough to work in the super hip world that is Shoreditch. It opens this spring and whether or not it is around in 5 years I know I played a small part in helping support a local small business.

Open a Cat Cafe in London
Donations start at £5 for a pat or £10 for a pat, tea and cakes. I know some of you would want to try it once it opens. Others, yeah, not so much. But support a local small business wherever you are...

Update November 2013:
Action Break Silence
Someone I know has set up this great charity to provide free self defence classes to women in India. It's a great cause I'm happy to support.

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