Why Village Capital is Getting into the Whaling Game
Ross Baird
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Great piece! And totally agree — alternative financial models can channel capital to deserving but underserved entrepreneurs. They can also help build community wealth by allowing employees, customers and individual investors to share in the value being created. Investment crowdfunding can play an interesting role. In particular, the ‘crowd’ — or more accurately the community— can act as a vetting mechanism to help validate an idea or an entrepreneur and signal that this is something they want to see in their community. That support reduces risk and paves the way for other stakeholders — an economic development agency, a foundation, a local bank or an investment fund like Village Capital — to come in and match the successfully raised funds. (This could also happen the other way around — the public could piggyback on the professional vetting and due diligence that a professional entity conducts, allowing them to invest and have a stake in a successful outcome). This sort of thing is already starting to happen — here’s an example of what it looks like in grant-making: http://www.locavesting.com/ecosystem/a-michigan-program-combines-crowdfunding-and-grants-to-fund-civic-projects/

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