Arslan points out that 78 percent of the small business population is comprised of self-employed people. “They don’t need large sums to start or grow, but traditional lending institutions don’t look at them as moneymakers.” Crowdfunding, she says, is a way individuals with business ideas can “fund their dream in an easy way.”
Crowdfunding websites can also be great motivators for entrepreneurs. Arslan says platforms like Kickstarter that enable users to post video pitches can inspire business owners to do their own due diligence, and clarify their business plan. “Let’s say you’re a baker and you want to sell cupcakes online, but you need to rent commercial kitchen space,” Arslan says. “You can send your [crowdfunding campaign] link out to friends and family asking them to loan you money, promising a return on that investment, but you may also be on a platform that opens it up to a larger audience. People would make decisions based on your business plan.”
Crowdfunding expands opportunities for the self-employed, as well as for communities, Arslan adds. “Small infusions make such a big difference in the growth of a business. If you’re going to take a risk, why not take a risk on a local business to create a better economy for your neighborhood?”
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