Crowd funding has worked in the developed world. A person comes up with a business idea. He does the initial ground work to prove the viability and profitable of his new product or service; maybe produces a prototype which he test-markets among friends and relatives. Once sure that the product is in demand, starts asking friends, relatives and interested customers to put up bits of cash as an investment in the company. This has worked for consumer goods, books, video games, music and movies.
Wikipedia describes it as follows:
Crowd funding (sometimes called crowd financing, crowd sourced capital, or street performer protocol) describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding occurs for any variety of purposes, from disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns, to funding a startup company or small business or creating free software.
See examples at www.fundageek.com/
The return? Once the business gets off the ground, each investor will receive a supply of the product worth his investment- though usually at a discounted price in order to make the offer more attractive. Some are even promised a share of the future profits from the business.
Has anyone ever tried that in Zimbabwe? I’m sure our readers would love to hear from someone who has made that work.
But for now, why don’t we try it and see how it works out. If you have a brilliant product or service idea and need funding, please tell me about it and let’s try the crowd funding approach. Drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or jot your idea in the comment box at the bottom