On Tuesday June 11, Mona School of Business and Management through the Centre of Excellence for IT Enabled Innovation hosted a workshop on the benefits of crowdfunding, a financial tool that allows the general public to use an online platform to contribute to investments of their own choosing.
As Jamaica seeks to create the right kind of enabling environment that can stimulate entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation, one of the critical components is the development of an effective private equity and venture capital ecosystem. Crowdfunding has recently emerged as an exciting new mechanism for community financing that enables the average citizen to invest in ideas and entrepreneurs they believe in and trust.
The main presenter at the workshop was Jason Best, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley’s ‘Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology’ and principal of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA) which is one of the primary activists that lobbied US Congress to legalize equity- and debt-based crowdfunding through the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups). Not only did Mr.Best co-author the crowdfund investing framework used in the JOBS Act, but he also co-founded the University of California, Berkeley ‘Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance.’
Other participants/facilitators in the workshop included World Bank Representatives: Anna Lerner - Energy Unit, Latin American and Caribbean Region, Anthony Lambkin - Climate Technology Program, infoDev, Samuel Raymond - Climate Technology Program, infoDev, Xiaochen Zhang - World Bank Institute and Reinhard Reichel - Senior Investment Officer, IFC.
The Workshop sought to provide an understanding of successful crowdfunding models and start a conversation about how crowdfunding might extend the options for private equity and venture capital development for SMEs in Jamaica. MSBM students and faculty with an interest in New Ventures, Entrepreneurship and creative financing models were invited to participate in the interactive session.
An Introduction to crowdfunding - What is it? What opportunities exist?
A dialogue session on Jamaica's readiness for crowdfunding (political, economic & cultural climate)
Facilitated breakout groups will then examine Crowdfunding opportunities within 3 thematic areas:
- Crowdfunding and Engagement of micro-investors in the Jamaican Diaspora
- Crowdfunding and Investment opportunities in Film Production & Animation
- Crowdfunding and implications for new Incubation models