I’m off to swing by my favorite local coffee stand on my way to an important meeting. I’ve been looking at investing in the stock market. I have some money from the sale of a home and I’m meeting with an investment firm to start the process. To build a balanced portfolio that will weather the ups and downs of the market, a pie chart was drawn with sections allocated to big US company stocks, small US company stocks, bonds, and international company stocks.
Investing my money in some of each is a great game plan for long term gains and my plans to retire. Yep, I just gave a ton of money to already successful, growing businesses around the world to help them continue growing. Turns out, everything I need is online or a phone call away. No need to have any more meetings! As I left, sipping the rest of my coffee I sadly realized my favorite coffee shop wasn’t in my portfolio, and they are way better than the one that is. In fact, many local business startups were not in my portfolio. It just didn’t sit well in my gut. Oh my, I’m such a traitor! What is the answer here? Enter Wefunder! Wefunder is paving the way to a kinder way of investing, one where my money can be invested in those favorite business startups. How wonderful it would be to see my coffee shop expand and know that I helped and profited from it!
What Is Wefunder?
Wefunder is the largest equity crowdfunding portal in America. So what is equity crowdfunding? How does it make a difference for small businesses? Let’s take a closer look at Wefunder and what is really starting to happen. For my little coffee stand to get an IPO (Initial Public Offering that’s registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission) to be listed publically and start raising interest-free capital they would need to reach the scale of bringing in about $100 million in revenue. It would also cost them about $750,000 just to get an IPO. Then they could raise capital to grow through public investing and commissioned underwriters would market and sell shares on their behalf. Or, they could spend about $15,000 to get a DPO (Direct Public Offering which may or may not be registered with the SEC) and do their own marketing. This is definitely the way to go for them.
Until Equity Crowdfunding, Only Accredited Investors Could Invest in Small Businesses
Still, the law says I don’t make enough money or have enough net worth to invest in them! I would be called an unaccredited investor. Only accredited investors are allowed because startup businesses are riskier investments. The law is for my protection. How sweet. However, in 2012 the JOBS Act (Jumpstart our Business Startups) was signed into law by President Obama. The intention of this Act was to encourage investing in small businesses in the United States. Still, only accredited investors allowed.
The CROWDFUND Act or Title III of the JOBS Act went into effect in May, 2016. It allowed equity crowdfunding. This means now everyone can invest in their friend’s startups. Before 2016 you couldn’t invest in these smaller DOPs unless you were an investor with $1 million net worth or $200,000 annual income. The doors have opened for all the wee folk in the United States to put money where their heart is. Can you imagine what might happen? How does this actually happen though? How do we find those startups that have brilliant businesses and ideas that are aligned with our own visions for creating a better world to live in? THIS is what Wefunder does! Wefunder is a platform for equity crowdfunding. It allows you to browse and invest in startups. Anyone can sign up at Wefunder.com and invest in something they believe in! Power to the people!
How Wefunder and Equity Crowdfunding Can Impact Startups and Small Businesses
Imagine how this impacts important business startups, especially those with innovations that better our world. Clean Air Lawn Care is a great example. They are the only lawn care company offering 100% organic, selective weed control treatments. Putting money towards the growth of a business like this would wipe out harsh and toxic chemicals from weed killers in our yards and neighborhoods. This is good for the environment. With equity crowdfunding on Wefunder, the masses are linked to businesses like this. Technology and new laws have opened the door for these worthy businesses to become flooded with capital. This will allow them to quickly expand and grow to serve our country and people.
As I perused the startups on Wefunder, it gave me hope for our world. It’s full of scientists and researchers that are making strides through their hard work and brilliance. One is curing cancer in dogs. Another is planting acres to reverse climate change. Yet another is revolutionizing recycling. Of course, there are businesses doing many other things too. I read about a Seattle based project building low-income, affordable housing. This is such a concern for many living in the Puget Sound area. I loved that there were a couple of camps for children expanding to reach, serve and educate more and more children. Anything helping children is near and dear to my heart.
Talk about pulling at the heart of the American dream. When I was in high school, I dreamed of owning my own coffee shop. I have a friend with a list of innovations and dreams of seeing one come to life. Another friend is creating a game that he plans on distributing. What does your community need? Friends and entrepreneurs in your home town are pouring their hearts into their businesses and formulating plans for ventures that fill those needs. For example, Black Momma Tea and Café has two cafes in New York. The founder, Vanessa Braxton, has raised over $500,000 for her business growth through equity crowdfunding on Wefunder. 670 investors contributed to attaining this dollar amount. There is power in reaching the crowd.
Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is
It’s inspiring and frankly about time that our nation opened the gate allowing crowdfunding to pave the way for friends and family to access capital and have the power to invest in what they truly value. You no longer have to be a millionaire to invest in small companies in order to help them grow and thrive.
If you’re passionate about making a big impact on environmental and family health, for instance, we ask that you check out the Clean Air Lawn Care page on Wefunder.com and consider investing in us.