What’s a Convertible Note Anyway?

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September 3, 2015 – In the initial funding stage, many companies have difficulty obtaining equity financing from traditional sources at an acceptable cost. This can be a confounding process to those not savvy in the financial services realm. Rather than pay interest rates from small business loans that they believe are too high, companies may elect to offer an option to convert the debt to an equity position as a sweetener or as security.

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Reversing the Stock Market Crisis with Small Business Investments

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September 2, 2015 – As of late, the markets have opened to tumultuous investor activity. Investors don’t know what to think anymore, as multiple stocks and in particular exchange-traded funds cascaded lower as orders failed to get filled and prices precipitously dropped. The Dow Jones industrial average, among other stock market indices, surrendered more than 1,000 points early on August 24th, according to New York Stock Exchange officials.

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The Positive Externalities of Equity Crowdfunding

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September 1, 2015 – Crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a project by receiving contributions from a large pool of investors as opposed to one or two large contributions from a few angel investors, donors, or venture capitalists. Often, groups that seek to crowdfund do so via the Internet and social networking. While this new alternate form of fundraising is becoming more common, benefits outside of simply getting a company funded are being realized.

Related: Crowdfunding your Business: Should you use Equity-Based or Donation-Based? Continue reading

The Increasing Role of Crowdfunding and Controversy

BADAJOZ SPAIN - MARCH 29: General strike in Spain Labor unions in protest demonstration march to the Labor Reform approved by the Government of Spain on March 29 2012 in Spain

August 14th, 2015 — One of crowdfunding’s preeminent promises is to bring true democratization to the world of capital raising. The interpretation of the words “true democracy” is different than the American experience of an indirect or representative democracy. A true democracy is where everyone – or every investor in the case of crowdfunding – has the same voting power and rights as the other. No dollar from one investor is more important or valuable than the other. Continue reading

Weighing Crowdfunding vs. Small-Business Loans for Financial Growth

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August 7th, 2015 – Studies have found that successful crowdfunded projects or businesses depend on two main drivers: the marketability of the product and a large number of backers. Having a sexy, marketable project or product allows for greater ease with outreach. Furthermore, it’s critical to have a large support base of friends, family, community members, and online followers. These people function not only as funders but also promoters. These are just a few essential characteristics of successful small businesses, among many other critical business development components. Equally as important as having a supportive network is the choice to fund a small business. Small business loans were the only option previous to the advent of the sharing economy, specifically crowdfunding. Continue reading

Part 5: The Future of the Female Crowdfunder

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Crowdfund Insider published the full version of this article on July 15th, 2015. The following is the fifth and final part of a series on this developing story of crowdfunding’s role in female entrepreneurship.

August 4th, 2015 — Undoubtedly, the next decade will be fruitful for female entrepreneurs, as online equity crowdfunding platforms provide an effective avenue to access large networks of investors in an efficient manner. Evidently, online platforms have served to mitigate the often stubborn gender bias that permeates through the financial services industry. Crowdfunding is leveling the playing field by providing a buffer to diffuse this unconscious and unintentional bias. Continue reading

Part 4: Why Female Personality Traits Thrive in Crowdfunding

Schizophrenic woman with multiple personality disorder. Or just having a break-down.

Crowdfund Insider published the full version of this article on July 15th, 2015. The following is Part 4 of a series on this developing story of crowdfunding’s role in female entrepreneurship. Stay tuned.

August 3rd, 2015 – Women are great collaborators and communicators, which are necessary skills in order to succeed in the crowdfunding space. On the other hand, according to USA Today, women tend to lack confidence and consistently rank behind men in understanding financial products and possessing acumen for valuable financial investments. Therefore, women hold an inclination towards charity – read as rewards-based capital raising – as opposed to traditional investment tools. Continue reading

Are companies using crowdfunding venture capital rejects?

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August 3rd, 2015 – The fundraising process has been written about at great length on this blog. It’s no surprise that raising capital is often one of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur. Recently, our team was casually perusing questions on “crowdfunding” in Quora when we ran into an interesting question posed by a user: Are companies that are crowdfunding venture capital rejects? The answer is “not really.” While perhaps this black and white supposition was true in the past, more nuances between these methods for a simple yes-or-no answer. Continue reading

Part 3: Women Circumvent Funding Challenges in Crowdfunding Campaigns

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Crowdfund Insider published the full version of this article on July 15th, 2015. The following is Part 3 of a series on this developing story of crowdfunding’s role in female entrepreneurship. Stay tuned.

Although women today create twice as many businesses as men, they face more impediments. Female founders have experienced more success with fundraising platforms as opposed to more traditional means of capital raising, such as venture capital and investment banks. According to CircleUp, female business leaders are almost ten times more successful in raising capital with online platforms than with traditional banks, and five times more successful compared to their venture capital investments. One variable compounding this effect is the surge of women-led venture capital firms. More female venture capitalists lead to more female entrepreneurs being funded. Nowadays, women own close to 10 million businesses in the U.S. Continue reading

Part 2: Crowdfunding Provides a New Financing Avenue for Women

Successful young business woman with charming confident smile

Crowdfund Insider published the full version of this article on July 15th, 2015. The following is Part 2 of a series on this developing story of crowdfunding’s role in female entrepreneurship. Stay tuned.

Crowdfunding is serving as another channel to level the playing field in business. In the last couple years, an influx of female entrepreneurs have entered the crowdfunding sphere and leveraged the democratization ethos that this funding mechanism promises. Continue reading