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.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.