European crowdfunding leaders call for EU support

European crowdfunding leaders call for EU support

A new paper, published today and supported by names from across Europe’s crowdfunding scene, calls on the European Union to provide more support to this burgeoning movement.

A Framework for European Crowdfunding lays out a plan for how new regulation, education programs and research could strengthen crowdfunding’s place in the EU economy, helping SMEs to raise capital and create jobs.

Although European crowdfunding sites like SeedrsBloomVC and Eppela – not to mention US sites like Kickstarter – are an increasingly popular way for new and existing companies to raise money for new projects, the authors of today’s paper argue that the EU could be taking action to aid this process.

It recommends pan-European laws covering consumer protection via operational and financial transparency practice, financial control, security of information and payments, platform functionality, and operational procedures. An educational forum is also called for, with the aim of educating stakeholders, funders, and entrepreneurs about crowdfunding, and proving guidance on fraud and risk – perhaps even testing funders’ knowledge of what they’ll be getting into. Meanwhile, the paper’s authors believe that “transparent and open” academic and third-party research would drive competition and innovation within the industry.

The paper was written by a group of academics and crowdfunding specialists and is supported by a variety of crowdfunding companies from across Europe, as well as organizations such as the European Association of Development Agencies and UK innovation charity Nesta.

The paper is being distributed to European Commission officials today and one of its authors, Oliver Gajda, says that he will be in Brussels to meet the Commission about it in November. You can download the paper as a PDF from the campaigners’ website.

Image credit: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

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