As some of you may already know, The Spark Project is a crowdfunding platform that supports creative conscious entrepreneurs in the Philippines. Having been in operation locally since 2013, we’ve sparked and supported numerous homegrown brands like Gouache Bags, WVN Home Textiles, and Ibarra Watches. Like them, many startups here and from other parts of the world have been able to pool small amounts of money from a large number of individuals to fund their very ventures; and, through that- through crowdfunding- you too can successfully raise funds for your own business.
But, money isn’t the focus here nor is it the only thing we entrepreneurs need.
As much as funding is a critical requirement for any starting or scaling venture, it is just as important to consider and utilize one’s personal connection to the crowd. After all, money can start and sustain a business but a community will be that which emboldens and empowers an entrepreneur.
Crowdfunding works if you’re willing to share your heart and reach out to others for support. More often than not, successful campaigns don’t just happen overnight or because of a viral stunt. Funds are raised and goals are achieved when you start by tapping your first salvo of support. Similar to how it takes a village to raise a child, it, too, will take just as much to establish a business and see it through. Thankfully, you can reach out to your friends and family to back you up and help you build the awareness and credibility you need to increase traction and backing.
Trust us, people you don’t even know will come on board when they see a certain amount of people supporting your venture. And, believe it or not, this is not where the power of the crowd stops.
The journey to achieving our professional and personal goals becomes less isolating and even more fulfilling when we let others in.
1. The crowd will help make your business as good as it can be.
Crowdfunding allows you to connect with your target market and test the viability of your products and services as you raise your financial capital. This can be a great tool for research and marketing in whatever stage you and your business are in. Whether you’re just testing a prototype or are already introducing a new product, engaging with your consumers to get feedback and better understand their evolving pain points and needs will definitely help you cultivate your business plans and ideas. This, for sure, also takes the brainstorming you do with a wall of post-it notes and tabs of Google searches to a deeper and even greater level.
2. The crowd will also open up even more windows and doors of opportunity.
Now, through the many ventures, I’ve encountered, I saw how opportunities started coming in after successful crowdfunding campaigns. Entrepreneurs who engaged their crowd beyond the expected business transactions experienced meeting individuals who then became partners and investors; getting featured on different media outlets, and landing speaking engagements where they further established their credibility not only as entrepreneurs but as thought-leaders and mentors, as well, to those who wish to be. Indeed, there is a myriad of opportunities within the business community.
3. But, the most important of them all is how the crowd will ensure your growth and sanity.
Putting yourself and your hard heart-work out there and having those meaningful conversations with the crowd leads not just to business opportunities but also to strong bonds with people whom you could turn to when you’re in need of advice and moral support. Having this, I say, would almost guarantee your success and sanity as an entrepreneur. To have people in your corner to ask questions to; share learnings and best practices with, and just get candid with will help you stay committed and accountable to your business, avoid making deadly mistakes, and course-correct when things start to go off where you intended.
Crowdfunding has definitely changed the way entrepreneurs and changemakers fund their different projects and ventures. But more than the money they raise, crowdfunding has allowed them to create a community around their work and pursue endeavors that they passionate about.
If you are an aspiring crowdfunding creator and want to get started with sparking your project to reality. Check out our free Crowdfunding Quickstart Guide.
Looking to level up on social entrepreneurship? Sparkability.org is The Spark Project’s learning hub for creative conscious entrepreneurs ready to rise above the pandemic. Access our growing library of courses and resources to help creative conscious entrepreneurs like you thrive in the new COVID economy. Learn from experts, leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs across different industries and fields sharing practical techniques and tools that can help you bounce back from this setback. Start with the free courses available here.