Realizing the importance of alternative finances for growing businesses and startups is the best way to support young entrepreneurs in developing their businesses.
Qatar has realized the immense importance of these alternative sources of finance. Its 2030 ‘Smart Nation’ model listed in Qatar’s National Vision 2030 aims to create a more sustainable and equitable space for emerging businesses.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is an alternative source of financing one’s startup or business plan. It involves the accumulation of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals. This is performed via the networks of social media, most often through crowdfunding platforms. This helps connect the entrepreneurs and investors by expanding the pool of networks and developing greater exposure.
How does Crowdfunding Work?
Crowdfunding has become a popular and more accessible medium of funding one’s business in recent years. However, when it comes to crowdfunding, most campaigns fall into one of these three categories:
Equity Driven: The backers or investors would receive a share of profit or partial ownership of the business they’re funding, depending on their funds.
Reward Driven: This is where the investors receive a reward based on the funds they donate to the campaign.
Donation Driven: Donation-driven crowdfunding campaigns are purely charitable and do not require any equity or reward.
These crowdfunding campaigns are usually goal-oriented and timed. They aim at collecting a certain amount of money at a tight deadline. In order to begin a campaign, one needs to kickstart with a crowdfunding website. Here’s a list of major crowdfunding platforms for entrepreneurs and investors in Qatar:
With the mission to “help bring creative projects to life,” Kickstarter has 17.2 million backers to fund 445,000 projects. Kickstarter helps secure funds for projects related to journalism, technology, food, films, and other creative ventures.
Indiegogo helps solicit funds for any charity, business, or startup idea. It’s an American-based crowdfunding platform which runs on a reward-based system. As per their website: “Millions of people around the world visit Indiegogo to find clever and unconventional things that solve everyday problems large and small. By giving entrepreneurs everywhere a platform to launch new and groundbreaking products, we help surface innovations in tech, design, and much more, all before they go mainstream.”
GoFundMe is another trusted crowdfunding platform that could be a go-to for any purpose related to a life event or any healthcare crisis. It’s a California-based for-profit crowdfunding platform for Social fundraising for the people, causes, and charities.
LaunchGood is a successfully run crowdfunding platform dedicated to the Muslim community worldwide. LaunchGood believes Muslims have incredible values to share with the world, so they are set out to build an inspired future. The project creators need to set a minimum funding goal and narrate their story to launch a campaign. The early backers and investors are usually rewarded with “perks” for their support or donations.
Qatari entrepreneurs could employ these crowdfunding platforms to avail fundings for their business ventures. Indiegogo and Kickstarter have a comparatively larger audience base, and Qatari entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas directly to a host of interested investors and early backers.
An immensely successful case in point would be ‘Oola Sportswear,’ a campaign run by Haya Al Ghanim from Doha, Qatar, with a goal to make sportswear more accessible to all women. Other platforms like GoFundMe and LaunchGood have proved themselves useful because of their target-centric approach. All of these crowdfunding platforms are easy and accessible means of raising funds, especially for early-stage startups struggling to find investors. All it requires is a strong pitch and the right kind of promotion and marketing.
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