The City of Keene and towns of Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Swanzey and Winchester in Southwest New Hampshire were selected to become a part of a demonstration site for a new, locally focused crowdfunding platform, developed by an organization called The Local Crowd (TLC). The Monadnock Region is one of six communities recently chosen to demonstrate the crowdfunding platform's effectiveness as an economic development tool. TLC demonstration sites are part of a research project funded by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Finding access to capital can be challenging for small business owners. According to the National Small Business Association, 27 percent of small businesses were unable to access adequate capital in 2015. Crowdfunding, or raising funds to support a project or business from a large number of people, is a viable alternative for entrepreneurs to fund the growth of their businesses -- and with their growth comes wealthier and healthier communities.
Current local demonstration site partners include Monadnock Buy Local, Southwest Region Planning Commission, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation and New Hampshire Small Business Development Center. The Southwest Region Planning Commission will serve as the crowdfunding platform host. Partners hope to bring on additional organizations to help support this project. Interested potential partners can contact Monadnock Buy Local for more information at email@example.com or 603-499-7950.
TLC, a Laramie, Wyoming-based company, received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from USDA last fall to establish up to thirty demonstration sites. The Local Crowd's platform features educational programs designed to help rural communities activate entrepreneurial ecosystems and spur local investment.
"We see the TLC crowdfunding tool as the perfect opportunity for us to launch a pollinator enterprise in our region -- one that will forward community economic development using a self-financing business model," said Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local Executive Director. "This project is exactly the kind of work we hoped to inspire with our pollinator enterprise events with Michael H. Shuman this spring."
In addition to the Monadnock Region, the communities of Golden Hills, Iowa; Goshen, Indiana; Oregon, Illinois; Sauk Valley Region, Illinois and Spoon River, Illinois were also selected as demonstration sites. They will join the communities of Bozeman, Montana; Laramie, Wyoming; and Teton Valley, Idaho that are getting ready to launch their platforms at the end of summer.
"We are pleased to have such a strong group of dedicated and visionary communities coming in as our second group of Demonstration Sites," said Diane Wolverton, Co-Founder and CEO of The Local Crowd. "During the review process, each community team submitted a vision statement about how being a demonstration site would impact their community. These vision statements capsulized their commitment to stimulate 'deep collaboration, innovation, local investing, job creation, ecotourism, youth engagement and connectivity between businesses and the community.' We are looking forward to great results from this dynamic and extremely creative team!"
Each demonstration site team will complete an eight-week online training program to introduce them to the crowdfunding software and support successful implementation of the platform. The target date for launch within each of the communities is late fall 2016.
The Local Crowd is currently seeking applicants for a third round of demonstration site communities. A downloadable copy of the Request for Proposals is available at thelocalcrowd.com.
On Friday, July 15, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. EDT a free 30-minute informational webinar will be held for those interested in learning more. Register at bit.ly/1TZtWuN. Deadline for proposal submission is August 29, 2016.
About The Local Crowd
The Local Crowd (thelocalcrowd.com) combines crowdfunding technology with the spirit of community and the power of local investing to catalyze communities that invest in themselves.
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431