Crowdfunding is a recent innovation with the potential to address the financing needs of Canadian innovators. It connects investors directly with entrepreneurs via online crowdfunding portals where funding proposals are vetted (and ultimately funded) by internet users.
Early business crowdfunding employed pre-sales and contests, and raised relatively little money. Securities-based crowdfunding is a much more effective and lucrative format, but its growth in Canada has been complicated by provincial-level securities regulations and the market remains underdeveloped at this time.
Crowdfunding offers many advantages to innovators but can also impose significant ongoing costs. Growth of the business crowdfunding market in Canada will depend on the evolution of the regulatory environment and greater adoption by innovators and investors.