Africa is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about innovative forms of raising capital. Yet Kenya's m:lab, a technology hub funded by the World Bank specializing in mobile innovation that has become one of the cradles of East Africa's growing high-tech sector, is doing precisely that, using crowdfunding, a form of financing in which entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and even journalists attract funding from the Internet.
Now Africa is getting in on the act, and countries long considered at the periphery of the world economy are benefiting. "We want to get Africans into the crowd funding space to invest in Africa's own start-ups," said Munyaradzi Chiura, head of GrowVC's Africa operations in Harare, Zimbabwe. "Crowd funding is particularly suited to the African context because the amounts are small, thereby reducing the risk, and investors are not going it alone." Projects in which "anyone can invest" could receive backing from outside Africa, although Chiura believes most investment will flow from local supporters, initially.
Founded in 2010, the industry website, Crowdsourcing.org, is a neutral organization dedicated solely
to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. As one of the most influential and credible authorities in the crowdsourcing space,
Crowdsourcing.org is recognized worldwide for its intellectual capital, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
practice expertise and unbiased thought leadership.