December 20, 2012
Today, Crowdfunder launched its social enterprise hub where people can find social good startups to support – a kind of Kickstarter for social enterprise.
The site has already seen two projects funded: This Shirt Helps, where your t-shirt purchase contributes to your favorite cause, and LSTN, which sells wood headphones to help children attend deaf school.
This new social enterprise community is more exclusive than Kickstarter: projects will come from members of Crowdfunder’s partners, including Singularity University, the X Prize Foundation, and the TED Fellows.
Niche crowdfunding sites have blossomed in a variety of industries – from technology to education to local projects – but social good startups are particularly suited to the model. They have a story, a cause, that gives people even more reason to contribute.
“Often times social enterprises are the things that investors find that they believe in, and that are personally most meaningful to them,” explains Chance Barnett, CEO and founder of Crowdfunder.
And social entrepreneurs may turn to crowdfunding if traditional avenues of investment are closed. Accelerators like Impact Engine and Fledge are putting their money behind social enterprises, but other investors may be wary of companies that are not 100 percent focused on profits.
Crowdfunding has also proven successful in the past for cause-based projects. 1:FaceWatch raised over $350,000 on Indiegogo, making watches color-coded to your favorite charity. And SOLO Eyewear picked up a fast $30,000 on Kickstarter to donate 10-15 percent of its profits to cataract surgery and eyeglasses for the needy.
Crowdfunder will focus on the Kickstarter model – funding projects with donations – until JOBS Act regulations allow it to expand into equity-based crowdfunding.
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