Money might or might not be important to you personally, but let’s face it: a startup needs money. So, what to do when you have a killer idea for business but your pockets are filled with nothing more than lint and pennies? Startup, meet alternative finance.
In the recent years, alternative finance, such as crowdfunding, has evolved greatly. What used to be mostly a thing for creative professions is now affecting a very wide range of all kind of industries and new kind of crowdfunding platforms and models emerge constantly.
Alternative finance can work in many different ways and serve different purposes. There’s peer-to-peer consumer lending, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer business lending, microfinance, donation-based crowdfunding… The list goes on.
Peer-to-peer consumer lending and reward-based crowdfunding are the most popular forms of alternative finance, but don’t forget the rest, either: for example invoice trading might still be a lot smaller model than P2P consumer lending or crowdfunding, but it is growing fast: in the years 2012-2014 invoice trading grew by whopping 4768% (whereas, for example, the growth rate of P2P consumer lending was ”only” 113%). So keep your eyes and mind open when you’re looking for funding for your startup.

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It is very likely that you have at least heard of, maybe even used, crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which are the world’s biggest crowdfunding platforms. Just make sure your concept is good, and these platforms can make it possible to execute your awesome idea. There are different platforms for different needs. For example, for education related and non-profit projects, there’s Hubbub. Alternative funding can also be fueled by big companies, such as Amazon. Amazon’s Launchpad curates the best products from various platforms.
Thanks to alternative finance, starting your own business is easier than ever. We’re at the point where the most groundbreaking innovations are created by small businesses, not big companies. This will have —and has already had — a huge impact in the business world of future. Most importantly this will give startups and small business entrepreneurs a new kind of advantage. Believing in your idea is more important than ever. Making it happen could be just a few clicks away.

To learn more about the trends of work and learning, you can get a Trend Map, made by 15/30 Research. Or, if you wish to really understand the trends that affect businesses now and in the future, take a look at 15/30’s Trend Manuals.

This article is written by Miia Outinen, Murray Dick and Markus Keränen from 15/30 – a research company and transformation agency which predicts industry specific trends globally and helps its clients to create awesome business concepts. 15/30’s Trend Manuals provide valuable insight to businesses and guide them to future-proof growth. The Helsinki-based 15/30 shares their insights biweekly at ArcticStartup.