Symbolically, this week we celebrate 777 partnerships, an amendment to the Securities Law has been approved that allows startups to raise money through crowdfunding platforms.
In recent years, as much as salaries have been waining and entrepreneurship is booming, many of us are turning to start our own ventures. Excellent ideas are abundant, and we do not lack the excellent women know how to execute. But in the early stages, after the first Excel sheet, buying the domain, and designing the logo, and so on, it turns out that you need money to create your dream. A primary capital to finance is the construction, the needed building blocks to make a dream come true. Investment fundraising is a skill within itself, in which the entrepreneur is required to wriggle between a fantastic story that promises huge potential, the reality, and challenges of life itself.
In the course of time, several women have approached me with important and worthy initiatives to understand CO.CO’s mass funding model to see if it could be applied to their project. For example, there was a young, religious woman who founded a women’s forum for changing the status of women within her denomination, a young mother who adopted a child and opened a site to make information accessible to adoptive families, an architect who wanted to open a joint workspace for women in the same field as herself, an education expert who wanted to establish a cooperative organization in the Negev for parents of preschoolers, or the woman who wanted to create a car shop that would be owned by its users. These ideas made us realize that owners make things they will use themselves more and more.
These initiatives have some common characteristics: they are based on real need, they have users – a community that consumes or is interested in the idea, and they have a professional initiative that is ready to conquer mountains. There is only one thing that they are having trouble with, and that is getting money. It is difficult to make the users, women who would be prepared to pay in advance, for the service or product they were given. This is the failure of the crowdfunding model. It depends on the responsiveness of a group rather than the individual.
The main question is whether there are enough people willing to pay for the service or product you are offering them. On the other hand, if we look in the opposite direction, we can ask ourselves whether there are services or products that we use and consume in any case and whether there is a way to turn them into an investment. And that is the key to crowdfunding that will ensure many’s participation, low risk, and return on investment.
The regulations for the crowdfunding law approved by the Finance Committee still gives freedom of conscription in details such as the existence of a head honcho who will invest 10% of the total funding or the run-of-the-mill investor that can only risk a small amount, from NIS 10,000 to 20,000. The law takes care of us, watching over us to make sure we do not go wild with our money. It is a little less careful with us when it comes to overdraft or loans though because after all, our debts are the profits of banks. Our fears are the earnings of insurance companies. And our extravagance that makes tomorrow forget, supports the pension funds. And all of them together contribute a great deal to the state coffers.
The important thing for us is that as much as the law crowdfunding is becoming more sophisticated, it brings us closer to the day when we can finally stop struggling with cumbersome legal terminology. If and when this happens, we can simply give each partner a real share certificate.
Like every start-up, CO.CO may take many years and lots more fundraising until it divides profits into its share. What’s certain is that this is a zero-risk investment that returns in full and has at least a 10% yield – about ten times what your money does when it’s sitting on a bank savings plan.
What do you have to do? Just dress up nicely!