The Country’s First-Ever Crowdfunding Conference Held at Enderun Colleges
As the rise of the Internet and social media makes it possible for aspiring entrepreneurs to introduce their businesses into a wide market, the lack of capital is still an issue for SMEs and startup companies.
Crowdfunding, a practice of raising funds for a business, product, or project, through other people or a crowd, is a relatively new concept in the Philippines. Enderun Extension, JCI Manila, The Spark Project, and Crowdsourcing Week, held CSW Summit Manila, the first crowdfunding conference in the Philippines last March 18, 2015. Over 200 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and investors were in attendance to know more about the crowdfunding and crowdsourcing concept.
“Asia has a huge potential in the crowd economy,” Epi Ludvik Nekaj, founder of Crowdsourcing Week, said. As the continent with the highest number of Internet users, an online campaign or business has more potential of being funded because of social media exposure. He added that by 2025, crowdfunding investments will go up to $92 billion.
“Filipinos now aspire to be entrepreneurs and, they need the right platforms for their startup companies,” Senator and social entrepreneur Bam Aquino said. Aspiring entrepreneurs now look at crowdfunding as an alternate way of getting their businesses financed instead of getting bank loans. “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. We don’t need more banks. We need more banking,” Nekaj said.
Unbeknownst to many, there are crowdfunding sites already established in the Philippines. The Spark Project, founded by Patch Dulay, is one of the pioneers in the country. The site has launched a number of notable projects including ZIG, an organizer bag for GoPro, which raised PhP170,600 from 88 backers. “It took eight prototypes and various visits to possible suppliers before it was ready for crowdfunding,” Gian Rosales, founder of CarrierPro, recalled during the panel discussion.
“Crowdfunding is not just a source of money, it also serves as a validation that your business idea will work in the market,” Louie Poco, co-founder of Gouache, a crowdfunded brand of bags, said.
Other guest speakers and panelists who shared their insights and expertise about crowdfunding are Chay Hofileña (Investigative Desk Head, Rappler, Inc.), Shaina Tantuico (Co-founder, Jeepneed), Guido Sarreal (Co-founder, Kawil Tours), Cat Patacsil (Co-founder, First Harvest), Bani Logroño (Film Director, AV Manila Creative Production Company), Ann Enriquez and Louie Poco (Founders, Gouache), Jason Torres (Co-founder, ArtisteConnect), Kenneth Reyes-Lao (Co-founder, Gift Launcher), Nap Garcia (Co-founder, ProTees), Paolo Agloro (Co-Founder, The Spark Project), Larry Gamboa (Author of Think Rich, Pinoy!), Ma. Regina Estuar (Project Lead, eBayanihan), Francis Ed-Lim (Senior Partner, ACCRALAW) and Ron Hose (CEO, coins.ph).