Regional Strategies supporting Crowdfunding

Discover how Crowdfunding is included in central Europe policy documents.

The European Commission is working to improve the financing environment for small businesses in Europe. For this reason, it is worth asking: how regions in central Europe operate to thrive this financing environment? Which measures are provided to spread Crowdfunding?
To answer to these questions, the study shoots a panorama ofregional policy documents in central Europe, capturing their efforts in improving the financing environment for SMEs and organisations as a whole through Alternative Finance, especially Crowdfunding. The documents scrutinised are Smart Specialization Strategies, regional development plans and others.

The degree of assimilation, on a policy level, of tools such as Crowdfunding to promote innovative financing for SMEs is still low and fragmented in central Europe.With regard to Smart Specialisation Strategies and the way they interact with Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance, the study shows very different situations depending on the country in which the analysis was performed. There are many positive examples (like Berlin-Brandenburg – Germany and Emilia-Romagna – Italy), but mostly neither Alternative Finance nor Crowdfunding are mentioned within S3. Likewise, also regional development plans show different degrees of inclusion of Crowdfunding and/or Alternative Finance. The research has led to discover that the topics related to Alternative Finance, especially Crowdfunding, were not explicitly included in the majority of the available documents. As for other development documents, the research has proven that Alternative Finance and Crowdfunding are never planned as financial measures and it is not clear whether they would be integrated in the future.

Public bodies responsible for entrepreneurship and innovation policy should better understand the opportunities offered byCrowdfunding: better understanding and recognition of Crowdfunding as a finance supporting tool could bring necessary change in policy making in the future. In addition, it is worth noticing that:

– most of the regions do not explicitly mention Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance in their policy documents;

– on the other hand, those regions which mention Crowdfunding have experienced a lot of activity in this field. 

As a consequence, it can be affirmed that the mentioning of Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance in these documents helps to focus and channel the efforts to improve the access to finance for SMEs.

How regions in central Europe operate to support the financing environment for SMEs and organisations in general?
To what extent Alternative Finance and Crowdfunding are included into policy documents?
Incorporating Alternative Finance Instruments in policy documents can help to establish a Crowdfunding Ecosystem in a region?