A new approach to funding is launching to support social enterprises, local businesses, community projects and small charities across Scotland through a unique crowdfunding platform. LocalCrowd is a platform being established to allow individuals and organisations to support ventures in their local community. The platform launches in Spring 2021 and will initially be targeting the Dundee community. Other interested communities are set to be included in the future.
LocalCrowd will have two main users accessing the platform; ‘Donors’ who are looking to support projects in their local area and ‘Proposers’ who will campaign to raise money for their project.
One pipeline for proposers for the platform will be the social entrepreneurship training programme, The Circle Academy, where candidates build their business skills and prepare a ‘pitch’.
Donors can make donations starting at just £5 - with no maximum donation amount – to the campaigns of their choice. LocalCrowd is unlike many other crowdfunding platforms as it is set to build a bank of ‘Donors’ in their community, individuals and SME businesses, rather than requiring ‘Proposers’ to attract all of their own supporters. LocalCrowd will also be supported by a wide range of national funding organisations and maintain a database of funding additional sources.
LocalCrowd has been set up by four Scottish professionals with a social conscience and a varied set of backgrounds. Kirsty Thomson is a social entrepreneur who has set up and merged two social enterprises and has raised over £13million in her 20 year career in the third sector. Ron Smith is a well-known investor who set up Provisio, a private crowdfunding platform for ‘seasoned’ investors. Gillian Fleming is a commercial strategist and board advisor with 20 years’ experience in supporting start-up companies to become investor-ready has transitioned multiple University research projects into successful high growth startups. Dr. Richard Callison has a wealth of business experience and was instrumental in setting up Scotland-On-Line, the early-stage ISP, several e-commerce websites and was a founding member of The Internet Society for Scotland.
LocalCrowd Director, Ron Smith says
“Unlike the large crowdfunding platforms which require several weeks of intensive marketing to source the donors, LocalCrowd connects local communities with opportunities to support causes in their area. This makes it easier for companies, community projects, and small charities that would otherwise find it difficult to raise funds to find support particularly to help with post-Covid recovery. LocalCrowd enables people to have a close affinity with what is happening in their community; it helps to build local economies, create employment, and address community needs.”