Crowdfunding, as a sort of group financing is constantly growing in Europe and the world, and even though it is only in its early stages in Croatia, around 400 such campaigns might be launched this year, which is twice as many as last year, the second Zagreb Crowdfunding Convention, heard on Thursday.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and of alternative finance.
The second crowdfunding convention in Zagreb which attracted about 200 participants from Croatia and Europe was organised by the non-profit company Brodoto and UNDP Croatia with the support of the US Embassy, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Finance Ministry of Slovakia and the European Commission through its Interreg programme.
Considering global growth of crowdfunding, this form of financing could be as high as USD 100 billion, which is about USD 50 billion more than in 2015 and about one-third of that amount is achieved in the USA, the conference heard.
Growth is all the more evident in Europe where the value of crowdfunding last year was 5.4 billion euro, about 2 billion euro more than expected, and most of it was generated in the United Kingdom, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, France and the Scandinavian countries, Ronald Kleverlaan told Hina. Crowdfunding in Croatia is in its early stages, he added.
CrowdfundingHub is the European Expertise Centre on Alternative Finance and Community Finance. CrowdfundingHub was initiated in 2015 by Ronald Kleverlaan, an advisor to the European Commission and co-founder of the European Crowdfunding Network.
The organiser of the Zagreb convention, Marko Gregovic of Bodota said that crowdfunding endeavours to collect money for projects from various interested private and legal entities via internet platforms on the basis of 'how much someone can contribute.'
"The convention emerged from the Crowdfunding Academy, which we launched in Zagreb last year in cooperation with the UNDP, and attracted around 100 interesting projects. There are only a few crowdfunding platforms in Croatia," Gregovic added.
He said that as far as the region was concerned, Croatia conducted 200 campaigns last year, the most in the region, whereas this year that number could be around 400.
Assistant Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Mario Antonic said that crowdfunding in Croatia and in most EU countries is still not regulated by law nor are there any EU directives in this regard and most activities are conducted based on decision by creative industry including software.
"All that is still in its infancy and there are a lot of Croatian projects that seek financing on foreign markets and platforms where this is more developed, for example, the UK. In Croatia such projects can apply for public tenders advertised by ministries for funding from EU funds," Antonic said.