Getting their heads in the clouds

By John Maslin

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ACAPITAL GAINS: PledgeMe's Anna Guenther is running a workshop in Whanganui tomorrow.
ACAPITAL GAINS: PledgeMe's Anna Guenther is running a workshop in Whanganui tomorrow.

While some may be telling businesses to get their heads out of the clouds, a workshop in Whanganui this Friday will be doing just the opposite.

Representatives of PledgeMe will be in the city to show local companies and organisations how they can use crowdfunding to bring in capital to help them grow.

Anna Guenther, PledgeMe chief executive officer, said her team will be running an introductory crowdfunding workshop covering the types of crowdfunding available, how to activate a "crowd" to reach your financial goal, and legal and accounting requirements for crowdfunding.

The event is being staged at Double Farley, 22 Watt St at 5.30pm this Friday. Tickets cost $20 (or three for $50) and can be purchased on the PledgeMe website.

Ms Guenther said the most successful campaigns were ones that had the backing of a community, whether that's customers, benefactors or the people in a particular place.

"The regions are often the best at activating their local communities," she said.

"We know there are some exceptional businesses and organisations in Whanganui with great support, so we wanted to introduce them to crowdfunding and raising funding from their crowds."

She said a number of Whanganui-related campaigns have crowdfunded in the past, including Chris' Moisa's book of short stories. But Ms Guenther believes there was potential for many more local enterprises to use the platform to fund their aspirations.

"Crowdfunding is still a relatively new concept, but we have seen it help Kiwis fund the things they care about time and again. If you have a project or business that people are passionate about then crowdfunding is a way to leverage that support to raise funds," she said.

PledgeMe launched in 2014 and has helped raise $12.7 million across 1000 campaigns from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Notable campaigns include craft brewery Parrot Dog which raised $2 million in two days, and Anika Moa who crowdfunded her album of kids songs. Social Enterprise Eat My Lunch, which feeds hungry school children with their buy-one give-one model, was the first lending campaign launched raising $800,000 through the new PledgeMe Lend platform in July this year.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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