The Crowdfunding Hub disseminates the Crowdfunding tool and its potential by providing free consultancy and training to startup, SMEs, local public bodies.
The Crowdfunding Hub, promoted by the_Metropolitan City of Bologna and the University of Bologna, was born thanks to the Interreg Central Europe project “Crowd-Fund-Port”. The project launched 10 Crowdfunding Hubs around central Europe. Each of the Hubs of the Countries involved (Austria – 2 Hubs, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland) has its own Hub Strategy, adapted to the situation of each country. The Italian Hub supports startups, SMEs, public administrations and third sector organisations by offering information, consultancy and training on Crowdfunding and on how to developa crowdfunding campaign.
The service is mainly provided through a physical office located in Bologna, at the headquarters of the Metropolitan City of Bologna.
To name some of the activities, the Hub organized 4 training days, totally free of charge for participants: 30 hours in total, a hundred participants and two in-depth modules. The first - aimed primarily at start-ups, consultants, and SMEs - had as its main themes the introduction to entrepreneurial finance, the principles and functioning of crowdfunding and the management of the project after a crowdfunding campaign. The second, designed for Public Administrations and third sector organizations, focused on civic crowdfunding, as well as on definition, actors, models, taxonomies, advantages, and disadvantages of crowdfunding in the broad sense.
The launch of the Hub was financed by European funds, and specifically by the Interreg Central Europe programme – Crowd-Fund-Port project. The project ended on June 2019; the continuation of the activities is ensured by the Metropolitan City of Bologna by using its own financial and human resources.
Evidence of success
The success of the good practice is determined by the hundreds of people who have already followed the free courses made available and connected to the site for information on crowdfunding techniques. This service is completely free of charge, a “helpdesk” for information and training on what crowdfunding is, how it works, its pros and cons and how to face a crowdfunding campaign. This is much appreciated in a time of scarce resources.
Beyond the success or otherwise of the campaign, the entrepreneur can understand the real possibility of success of his idea without spend money. To encourage the birth and growth of businesses, P.A. offers free, useful and concrete tools to new entrepreneurs.
Potential for learning or transfer
This good practice can be transferred for the following good reasons: 1) during this current economic and financial crisis businesses need new financial instruments as crowdfunding; 2) crowdfunding is a tool with a high intensity of knowledge and professionalism, not so much of economic resources, therefore it can be activated by SMEs; 3) the European Crowd-Fund-Port project can offer that transversal knowledge on crowdfunding that can make good practice better transferable also in other countries.
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