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Crowdfunding: A Must-Try Fundraising Phenomenon

Kristie Arslan, President & CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), contributed this article to BusinessNewsDaily's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Each year, tens of thousands of individuals and groups of people band together to take the plunge into opening a small business. It takes time, money and effort to open the doors and grow a business. The small business community faces tremendous hurdles from the start and mounting challenges throughout the process. We not only struggle to qualify for the capital required, but also raising what is needed.

In commemoration of National Small Business Week, the National Association for the Self-Employed is celebrating America's smallest businesses — the self-employed and micro-businesses — by shining a light on the challenges and opportunities for our community. While we help fuel our local and national economies, we also provide the foundation of sound economic policy.

Partnering with both the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, an advocacy and research organization for entrepreneurs, and Fundable, a crowdfunding partner focused exclusively on startup companies, we are launching a national crowdfunding contest to help startups and existing small businesses fundraise to open or grow their business.

Crowdfunding is a fundraising phenomenon that is coming on strong: it's a collective effort of individuals and entities that pool their money through a variety of ways, usually through the Internet, to support a variety of businesses, non-profit causes, etc. Even celebrities are using it to raise money for their social endeavors. Our contest is focused on giving new and existing small business owners a jumpstart on getting their business off the ground.

Our goal is to showcase how promising crowdfunding is as a method to raise capital for startups and growing small businesses, and help a few new or growing business owners out along the way! We hope that our contest will spotlight opportunities to raise capital, but also show how difficult it is for small businesses to get the funding they need to live their entrepreneurial life.

How it Works

Participants will use the Fundable platform to create their company fundraising page. At the end of the application period, a review committee evaluates the applications and ten companies will be selected to participate in the contest. The contest participants will be responsible for further enhancing their profile on Fundable and communicating their goals to their networks to garner support and funding for their businesses. The company that reaches their fundraising goal the first is pronounced the winner at the close of the competition on September 5th and will receive the money they've raised, along with an additional prize provided by sponsors of the contest. To learn more about the contest and/or to apply, please visit: http://www.fundable.com/contest. Follow the contest, and its participants and supporters on Twitter at #ryoufundable.

With new rules pending at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand equity and debt-based crowdfunding, there has been an increased interest in the viability of this method to raise funds for new and growing businesses. We at the NASE, SBE Council and Fundable all believe strongly that a national crowdfunding contest is the perfect way to increase awareness, educate business owners and stakeholders, and promote entrepreneurship.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

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