The following is a post from AlliedCrowds founder and CEO Lars Kroijer.
Speaking as a former entrepreneur, I know all about the struggles of getting a project off the ground. Many question your sanity or business model, or both. Meanwhile you are just trying to get on with things and make your project a success.
You need investors who can back your dream. Unless you have a rich uncle, tons of money in your back pocket, or the unlikely backing of a local bank, you might well be spending a lot of valuable time wondering where the next bit of money will come from.
This is where AlliedCrowds’s Capital Finder comes in. We have built a database of what we consider alternative (or non-conventional) for- and non-profit investors in the developing world (137 countries, ex-China).
We discussed in an earlier blog who the funders are on the Capital Finder and how you can go about searching for them.
You don’t need to sign up, and we won’t charge you a penny for it. We won’t even know who you are. You don’t have to use us for anything other than finding the information of who the funders are. If you want to approach them, we’ll give you the contact information, but we won’t be involved in your dialogue with them. If you do succeed in raising money from someone you found on AlliedCrowds, we would love to hear about it, but you don’t have to tell us.
We are doing this because we think that in development, there is far, far too much talk and too little action, and we are trying to create the path of least resistance for entrepreneurs. There is a huge funding gap in the developing world when it comes to SME funding, and we feel that many of the solutions suggested by the development community are far too involved for the busy entrepreneur. For example, a well-meaning development organization may say, “If you fill out these 10 questions, or submit a business plan with cash flow statements, then we can see if there is a match with what we do.”
We try to turn this on its head. The entrepreneur or project creator can look for the fit directly on the sites of the potential funders and feel fairly comfortable that they are seeing the whole universe of potential funders for the given funding type. Our relevancy score should give you a better idea of who to look at most closely.
While you are on the site you should check out our Entrepreneur Hub. You may already have thought of the things here, but we have tried to include a bunch of information that someone looking for alternative capital should think about, including checklists, how to write a business plan and so forth.
My own experience of raising money involved a constant worry that I wasn’t seeing the whole universe, and a fear that the perfect source of funding was out there, but I wasn’t finding it. It was hugely frustrating, and I spent a lot of time searching for different sources, fearing that missing out could risk an opportunity to raise the money my business needed. We are hoping that our Capital Finder will lower that search cost/stress, and enable more developing world entrepreneurs to find backers.
Good luck to you! Do spread the word to your entrepreneurially-minded friends!