Crowdsourcing to raise funds might sound foreign to Malaysians but it is an alternative local business or start-ups should look into especially when government grants or loans are not available.
Crowdsourcing for funds or crowdfunding or crowdfinancing is gaining popularity in developed countries, especially the US. It is a collective initiative by individuals to network and pool their money, usually via the internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations.
The funds are usually used to support activities like social projects, movies, films, research and development, as well as start-up companies.
Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) Creative Multimedia vice-president and director Kamil Othman said there is a need for the government to introduce some kind of incentive to spur crowdsourcing activities in the country.
Kamil said by encouraging such activities in Malaysia, it will not only allow and engage the public in certain projects but also provide an avenue for local filmmakers as well as small production companies to raise funds on their own.
“For the upcoming Budget 2014, we want to propose that the government provides some kind of tax incentive for the public and companies involved in crowdsourcing activities.
This is to encourage and spur interest amongst the Malaysian public,” he told Bernama.
He said in the US individuals can pledge as little as US$1 (RM3.21) to crowdfinancing initiatives or as much as they are willing to.
Kickstarter is currently the world’s largest crowdfunding platform on the internet, providing an avenue for individuals and companies to raise funds for various initiatives.
Since its launch in 2009, 4.9 million people have pledged US$803 million (RM2.5 billion) to fund 49,000 creative projects. Currently, thousands of creative projects are on Kickstarter to raise funds.
Kamil said some of the Sundance-produced films raised their funds through crowdsourcing platforms.
Last year, 10% of the films at Sundance were Kickstarter-funded. Sundance, for the record, is a film festival for independent film producers
According to Kickstarter, project creators can keep 100% ownership of their work. – Bernama, September 29, 2013.