My Crowdfunding Journey: Shedding Light on Equity Crowdfunding

My Crowdfunding Journey: Shedding Light on Equity Crowdfunding

As a passionate entrepreneur, diving into the world of crowdfunding has been both exhilarating and eye-opening. When I embarked on my crowdfunding raise on CrowdCube, I was prepared for the challenges and the excitement of engaging with potential investors. However, one unexpected encounter with a friend shed a light on a crucial aspect I had overlooked – the need to demystify equity crowdfunding for everyone, even those closest to me.

On a night out with my dear friend Fiona, just as we were settling down to enjoy our first cocktail of the evening Fiona asked with genuine curiosity about my crowdfunding campaign. Her question, "Alex, what exactly is this crowdfunding thing you're doing?" took me completely by surprise and caught me off guard. There is something very Scottish about me in my approach to discussing my business, and that is, that more often than not I don't! When I am with close friends and family I tend not to share much about the ins and outs of what’s going on and to be honest, I prefer to keep things under the radar so as not to bore people. Now there’s a lot to unpack in those last few sentences, but this is not going to be the blog to do that in as I have more pressing things to discuss with you all - so more about my Scottish ‘dont blow your own trumpet” approach another time. But one thing I will say is that this modest approach almost held me back from embarking on a crowdfunding campaign! 

So back to Fiona, the pub and our conversation about Crowdfunding. Having launched the campaign on social media only a few days earlier it was pretty naive of me to think that I wasn't going to get some questions about it. But what I wasn't prepared for was how little people knew, I had wrongly assumed that most people knew what equity crowdfunding was and how it worked. 

Reflecting on Fiona's question, the phrase ‘can’t see the wood for the trees sprung to mind”   I realised that I had immersed myself so deeply into the intricacies of my business and the crowdfunding process that I had overlooked the fact that not everyone was familiar with the concept. What surprised me most was the widespread lack of understanding surrounding equity crowdfunding. Many people, like my friend Fiona, were unaware of its potential and the opportunities it presented for entrepreneurs and investors alike. This realisation fueled my determination to bridge the knowledge gap and educate others about the power of crowdfunding.

At its core, crowdfunding is a revolutionary method of raising capital by pooling small investments from a large number of individuals, typically via online platforms like CrowdCube. What sets equity crowdfunding apart is that investors receive shares in the company in exchange for their investment, thereby becoming partial owners and sharing in the company's success.

For entrepreneurs like me, crowdfunding offers an alternative to traditional funding avenues such as bank loans or venture capital with the latter often favouring male-led businesses. The statistics speak volumes: female entrepreneurs receive only 2% of venture capital funding in any given year, and when they do, they typically need to raise four times as much as their male counterparts to achieve the same investment. This glaring disparity underscores the importance of crowdfunding as a democratising force in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Crowdfunding empowers us to bypass the entrenched biases of traditional investment channels and connect directly with a community of supporters who believe in our vision and are willing to support us financially. It levels the playing field, providing access to capital and opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. But for many, especially women, understanding and navigating the world of crowdfunding can be daunting without proper guidance and support.

Our decision to crowdfund wasn't just about raising capital; it was about rallying our community behind us, standing together to defy the odds and rewrite the narrative for female entrepreneurs. We knew that by harnessing the collective strength of our community, we could amplify our message and effect meaningful change.

That's why our community is at the heart of our crowdfunding journey. We recognise the power of our community – our customers, supporters, and fellow entrepreneurs – in driving our success. By reaching out to our community, not only do we hope to raise funds but we also foster a sense of belonging and solidarity.

When I started FINDRA almost 10 years ago, I had a clear vision, that vision is still as vivid today as it was back then, but what is different is that over the last 10 years so many of you our followers and supporters have embraced that vision too and have enabled me to take it from an idea and turn it into to a business, without you my vision would be but a dream  You, my dear Friends of FINDRA are the people who follow us on social, read our blogs and buy our products. 

You are our loyal customers and through you sharing the FINDRA love, we have grown this little business year after year. We have also had numerous ups and downs. Through it all, you have faithfully supported us all. Now it is time for you to share in our success and take the opportunity to own a little bit of FINDRA. 

Equity crowdfunding is that opportunity  So if you are interested here are the steps you take to become a shareholder in FINDRA 

Phase 1 Early Access

Early access is where you put forward your note of interest, this is not a confirmed investment, it is purely you saying I am potentially interested in this opportunity. There is no commitment at this stage. To put forward your note of interest these are the steps 

  1. Click on the link here;  https://www.crowdcube.com/early-access/findra
  2. When you reach the early access page add an amount you might want to invest - it can be as little as £10. 
  3. Add your email address and that it it done  
  4. Your note of interest has been collected and we can start to see how our campaign may go.   

Phase 2 Exclusive Link Access 

  1. Having noted your interest we will be keeping in touch with you via email  
  2. Before the campaign goes live we will share an exclusive link with you via email.
  3. The exclusive link gives you access to our campaign before it goes public
  4. This allows you to review our pitch and campaign in more detail 
  5. You can then decide as to whether you want to invest in FINDRA or not. 
  6. If the answer is no then you can click away with no commitment made 
  7. If the answer is yes, you can pledge the amount you would like to invest.

Phase 3 - Go Live 

  1. Following the sharing of the exclusive link, we go public 
  2. When the campaign goes public you and everyone else can see how much we have raised so far.
  3. The public campaign will run for several weeks.

Phase 4 - The final stage 

Like with all investments and purchases, there is a cooling-off period, so if you change your mind and decide you don't want to invest you can withdraw your investment offer within the cooling-off period. 

If you are happy to move forward with your investment the campaign moves to the final stages and competition. 

This is a quick overview of the key stages, there is lots more info available at Crowdcube and we are more than happy to chat with you should you want to reach out to us with any questions. Please email us to hello@findra.co.uk we will be more than happy to help.  

Like all investments, this does come with a RISK warning 

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. Investing in a small business is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. 

A massive thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read this and find out more about FINDRA and our crowdfunding campaign. We hope you found it useful and we hope you will join us on the journey and the next stage of our adventure. 

Alex x 

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