Necessity is the mother of invention.
The Great Recession brought out the entrepreneurs in droves.People have been finding their own way in the world rather than relying on the workplace to provide for them.
One of the hardest parts of chasing a dream or making a business come to life is financing. Financing is especially difficult in the arts arena, with many artists not having the business experience to inspire faith and financial support from their hometown bank.
Hence, the birth of Kickstarter in 2009. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, not an avenue to cover start up costs associated with starting a new business. These projects include publishing, film, music, games, technology, theater, software, dance, design, fashion, and photography.
In our experience, the most reassuring part of being a backer is the Zero Risk Model. If the project fails to reach its funding goals, we aren’t charged anything. The most gratifying part of being a backer is watching new creative projects succeed and being on the ground floor. The rewards are a perk, but being part of making someone’s dream come true is why we do it.
Since Kickstarter’s inception, more than 30,000 projects have been backed with more than 2.5 million people. Music has had the most projects funded, followed by film, then art.. Overall, a total of 44 percent of all Kickstarter projects have been funded. According to the Huffington Post, only 13 percent of small business loans were approved at 100 percent last year.
What we are seeing is a shift from financing to alternate ways of fund raising. Etsy is an avenue where artists can promote and sell their products. Crowdfunding sites (such as Rockethub, Kickstarter and Indigogo) are avenues of funds and support for launching a project on a backer level, but may grow to more with the JOBs law being passed last April (and still being worked out). Industry leaders are stepping up with new start-ups loans and coaching, such as Samuel Adams Brewing company.
The shift in funding alternatives are offering hope. Now entrepreneurs, dreamers, and people venturing out on their own have support and different avenues to find success. The banks no longer have the final word, and as long as you can find an interest in your project and a pool of people who will support you, you can chase your dream.
There are also a plethora of coaching and support options when beginning your project. In our case, we found a site and a podcast called “Funding the Dream” hosted by Richard Bliss. He is very specialized and focuses solely on crowdfunding projects, and he has provided a wealth of information for us.
It seems coincidental to me that these Crowdfunding avenues are newly available after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus in 2006 for his work in Bangladesh and his pioneer work in micro-credit and micro-financing. Whether his work inspired these new avenues or not, I would still like to recognize and appreciate him. It’s rare that an economist is recognized for humanitarian work, but it shouldn’t be.
Whatever your dream, there’s likely a way to chase it with one of the above resources. If there is nothing available that meets your specific needs, I bet there will be shortly.
Finally, a link to our own Kickstarter project:
Now, get off your butt and start your project. The main obstacle isn’t such a high hurdle anymore, so that excuse no longer applies. When you get out there, we will be your biggest cheerleaders!