How Nigerian Start-Ups Can Access Crowdfunds

Finance is the fuel that propels every business. When it is absent, start-ups with wonderful business ideas risk failure or stagnation. Seed capital for start-up businesses is becoming increasing challenging to locate.
Understanding the critical importance of funding to Nigerian business owners and entrepreneurs, Start-Up Digest, in its characteristic manner, has dug up some of the places where start-ups can access crowdfunds.
Over the years, crowdfunding has become an effective alternative for entrepreneurs to raise funds for their business ideas. It is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the Internet. It is initiated by some organisations or people to support a broad array of activities such as journalism, disaster relief, political campaigns, start-up funding, movie development, support of artists by fans, and scientific research amongst others. Though its knowledge is still low amongst Nigeria’s start-ups, some entrepreneurs are already talking advantage of it to raise funds for their businesses. On this note, Start-Up Digest is providing a list of top crowdfunding platforms you can search to raise finance for your business.
(1) Kickstarter
Kickstarter is the world’s largest and oldest crowdfunding platform for gathering money from the public for creative and merchandising projects. Since starting, Kickstarter has reportedly received more than $1.9 billion in pledges from 9.4 million sponsors to fund 257,000 creative projects. It assists in funding projects such as games, films, arts, music, technology, comics, photography and design, among others. Jide Ipaye, founder of Keexs Footwear, an African- inspired range of casual footwear such as sneakers and smart shoes, leveraged on the Kikstarter platform to raise funds to start his business. Jide put up a video with a write-up that told a story of his challenges, looking at the Nigerian context, saying what the challenges were and how the problem of unemployment in the economy could be solved by looking internally and creating value through manufacturing. And in forty days, he was able to raise $20,000 from the website to start his business. “Over a period of 40 days— from November 2015 to December—, we raised $20,000. The money was paid to the manufacturer to produce the first batch of the sneakers,” he told Start-Up-Digest.
(2) Indiegogo
Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding platform. Start-ups have raised over $30,000 through the Indiegogo platform since starting. Also, it provides a market place for innovations in tech and designs products before they go mainstream.
(3) Imeela
Imeela is a Nigerian fundraising platform that allows businesses in the country gather enough funds for different projects. It provides a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers, operators of small businesses, traders, fashion designers, shoe makers, farmers, NGO’s, caterer, and artists to raise money.
(4) Crowdfunder
Crowdfunder is a Los Angeles-based crowdfunding platform that allows entrepreneurs to source for finance and network. The platform allows businesses to put connections, tools and advice in the hands of investors at all the phases of the business life cycle. Although, its focus is mostly entrepreneurs in the US, it is a window still provided for other entrepreneurs globally.
(5) Wefunder
Wefunder is a crowdfunding service connecting start-ups with investors online. It was founded by serial entrepreneurs Nick Tommarello, Mike Norman, and Greg Belote in 2012. The platform makes use of a provision act in the 2012 JOBS Act, which allows unaccredited investors to provide equity for entrepreneurial undertakings.
(6) Quirky
Quirky is a crowdfunding site for inventors. It has created 241 products, possesses 188 retail partners and contains a community of more than 283,000 individuals, according to its website. Quirky makes inventing and selling products possible by pairing inventors with product designers and big manufacturing companies that can bring their ideas to life. For decades, being an inventor has been a difficult thing to crack. Complexities associated with engineering, financing, legalities and distribution has stood in the way of smart individuals executing their excellent ideas. Since its launch in 2009, Quirky has rapidly altered the way the globe thinks about product creation.
(7) SeedInvest
SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform, opening up access to venture capital and angel investing to everyone. It was founded by Ryan Feit and James Han in 2012 due to the difficulty encountered by their classmates in Wharton to raise capital for their businesses. Ryan and James joined a movement to change 80-year-old securities laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital online. Since then, the SeedInvest team has grown to over twenty team members, helped over 220 companies raise capital, and built a rapidly growing network of over 224,180 investors. In June 2015, SeedInvest was the first equity crowdfunding platform to open up to the other 98 percent of Americans who were previously restricted from investing in start-ups.