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The Jobs Act- Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding; Small investment, Big Payday

Updated on May 15, 2017

An emerging trend

President Obama recently signed the Jobs Act, a bipartisan bill with the goal to make it easier for startup companies, entrepreneurs and inventors to get funds from online investors. This new bill was recently signed and is going to change the economy and promote growth. Several crowdsourcing websites are already available to support various causes, including the arts, film, photography, music, media, mobile apps, technology, etc. This is a unique opportunity for the average person to find investors who are willing to support their project financially. What was previously very difficult to obtain, is now more realistic. Many people have dreams of going into business for themselves or writing a novel or starting a website, but previous obstacles were too overwhelming and most of the dreams were, just that, dreams. With the signing of the new bill and with the emerging trend of crowdsourcing websites, many will be able to turn their dream into a more realistic vision. Currently, there are several websites that offer these services already. Websites include: Kickstarter.com, MicroVentures.com, Quirky.com, RocketHub.com, and Pozible.com, just to name a few.

This also represents a unique opportunity for investors, or "wanna be" small time investors who can put their money into an idea, a cause, or a business that they believe in. As it stands now, there are different incentives for investors to do this. Some sites offer prizes in exchange for the investment. At Kickstarter.com, for example, you can invest in, just about anything and everything you can imagine. There are entrepreneurs who are coming up with everything from new ways to read a book to new ways to sleep effectively. In exchange for your investment on a site like this, you get many different benefits, depending on the individual investment. Some offer the first available products that they make and ship them to you when they become available. Some offer recognition of your investment with your name on their product. Others offer the opportunity to visit their venue for an up close look at their business. For example, if you invest in a group of film makers who have an idea for a film, but need funds to make the actual film a reality, in exchange for your investment, depending on how much you invest, you are promised, a DVD copy of the film, or your name mentioned in the credits of the film, or an invitation to the first screening of the film, or an opportunity to have dinner with the writer and director. There are various creative ideas that these entrepreneurs offer in exchange for your financial support.



Generating revenue from investments

Other websites offer different incentives, tokens of appreciation for your financial backing. With the passing of the new Jobs Act, however, there are more lucrative reasons for investors to get involved. In the upcoming year, probably going into early 2013, many more crowdfunding websites will be created for the next phase in the enactment of this bill. Eventually, it will be possible to contribute financial investments in exchange for a portion of the actual company you are backing. For example, in exchange for a $1,000 investment, depending on the value of the company, you could own 10% of the company, or you could be given stocks in the business. This makes the idea a lot more interesting for investors, who now, from the comfort of their own home, through a crowdsourcing portal website, can make decisions to invest their money in something other than stocks and bonds, something that they can monitor and understand and be a part of. For the everyday average person, this is exciting. So many people are looking for the "get rich quick" option or the option to quit their day job and work for themselves, and now, after all phases of this new bill go into effect, there are several new ways to make this possible. Either start a small business and turn to crowdsourcing to fund it, or become an investor and watch your investments grow.

Of course, none of this comes without risk. There are no guarantess that the companies that you invest in will be profitable or lucrative or even produce enough income for you to have a return of your investment. These risks are now assumed on the shoulders of the small investors who choose to use their money in this way. There will be safeguards in place to prevent fraud and to allow you to do the appropriate research before you choose to invest. Crowdsourcing portals will verify that the companies are real, research their finances, visit thier facilities and do everything to ensure that the entrepreneur or small business is not only there to take your investment. You will, in some cases, be able to contribute to the business process by providing support, ideas, and other tools, that will not only help the investor feel like they are in control of their investment, but also provide the entrepreneur and small business with valuable insight that may otherwise not have been available or would otherwise have to be paid for through focus groups and product testing.

For now, the best advice is to do your research. Understand your options. There is already a lot of information available and it is beneficial to get into this from its inception. The time is now, and the opportunity is great! A great place to start is crowdsourcing.org.


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