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The First Islamic Crowdfunding Site
The 1st Islamic Crowdfunding Website
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. Although these sites raise money over the internet using their websites and social media pages these days. Funds can also be sent through mail-orders and benefit events.
The concept was born as a result of the need to find an alternative to the traditional lending and financial systems.
The major contributors to the crowd funding ecosystem are the project initiators, the individuals or the crowd, and the platform that merges the efforts together.
Typically, the project initiators put forward an idea, detailing what they intend to achieve and find a suitable site where they feel the most traffic can be generated in order to see funds come in. The “crowd” then takes up the projects and selects the ones that appeal to them the most. Apart from contributing directly, the crowd also kicks up interest in other people to rally behind their selected projects, and the sites continue to serve as the engines and backbones of these projects.
As of 2012, there were over 450 crowdfunding sites in the world. Examples of some of these sites are: Crowdcube, Seedrs , Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Seed Out.
Seed Out is the first Islamic crowdfunding site. It is a nonprofit and free online fundraising site aimed at alleviating poverty in Pakistan. This is achieved by mobilizing the resources needed but lacked by small business owners and students, by appealing to the rest of the world via the worldwide web.
Although it has a high entrepreneurial labor force, the majorities of Pakistani citizens do not have access to loans, and as a result, many of them are forced to engage in menial labor without the hope of ever being successful business owners. This touched the heart of the site's founder, Zain Ashraf, and seeing that all the citizens of Pakistan needed was to be heard by the rest of the world, he developed the website to help bridge the gap between those who need the funds, and those who have them.
Utilizing its crowdfunding platform, this site is focused at raising micro-entrepreneurs in society in order to empower them with the right sort of funding and assistance that they cannot receive from the government. They believe firmly that just handing out relief, aid and charity, will not be sustainable in the long-term and will not affect meaningful change. However, if they follow the old adage of teaching a man to fish instead of just merely giving him a fish, and if they provide the means required to make Pakistani citizens more self-sufficient, they will be addressing the issue properly, and will be on their way to achieving poverty alleviation in the country of Pakistan.
So far, Seed Out has seen the dreams of numerous Pakistani citizens come true by helping them receive the funds they needed to kick off or expand their businesses. The lives of these small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs have changed for the better. Poverty has not been totally alleviated from Pakistan, but positive strides are being made in that direction. Hopefully, in time, with the help of the rest of the world, Pakistan, and other poor countries, will one day be able to kick poverty out of their midst.