Dragons' Den, and other similar programmes, has made the idea of investing into start-up businesses, new inventions and other ideas a popular notion. Even with a modest amount of capital, finding people with ideas to back is becoming easier due to the proliferation of crowd funding forums.
Crowd funding is the fairly simple idea that someone with a business idea, or community or art project, or anything that requires cash can raise it from a large pool of investors contributing small amounts in return for either traditional equity stakes, or more increasingly, for perks or rewards.
For example, a bag-making business could give away bags to investors, or a musical band looking for funding for their first album could promise backstage passes for their first gig at Wembley Stadium.
Anyone can create a 'pitch' and post it online on one of many sites such as www.crowdfunder.com or www.crowdcube.com . In an endorsement to crowd funding, the US Congress recently passed the Jobs Act, which is likely to be signed into law by President Obama. The bill will make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise funds, providing "entrepreneurs opportunities to start creating the next Google or the next Apple or the next innovative company."
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