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Crowdfunding is the practice of raising finance to fund a project by attracting contributions from a large number of people. The contributions are usually tiered and start from very small amounts up to generally not more than  €1,000. The funding amount really depends on the nature and scale of the project looking for finance. However, some but not all crowdfunding projects offer contributors rewards, which may differ based on the amount of money donated. Rewards can include copies of a creative work, products created with the funding, special or personalised incentives or public recognition.

Some Crowdfunding Examples:

1. Seth Godin: well known writer and broadcaster raised over $130,000 for his latest book in the USA

2. The Joinery: had a target of €16,000 but raised €18,740 from 520 funders on :fund:it  in Ireland

3. Big Comfy Bookshop: needed £1,500 to furnish its shop space in Coventry but 67 backers funded a total of £2,541 on

Though it is not a new concept, crowdfunding today is, in the main, carried out over the internet and it enables individuals, groups and companies to showcase their ideas to the entire world. Crowdfunding platforms first emerged in the USA but there are now local platforms in existence in many countries.

Crowdfunding throws up some really ‘why didn’t I think of that’ ideas and none more so that the Stupendous Splediferous ButterUp knife from Australia. Originally looking for Aus$38,000 these guys raised a cool Aus$360,286, far exceeding their original expectations. Check out the Stupendous Splediferous ButterUp knife here.

Crowdfunding has also evolved to provide equity crowdfunding. It’s a way for companies to use the  crowdfunding approach  to raise investment capital. In this instance the contributor’s reward is in the form of equity.

Crowdfunding, by the very success of the leading platforms, is testament to the popularity of this funding option. Research the projects listed on the both international and local platforms and if nothing, you’ll get good insight and ideas.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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