The UK’s biggest crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder have teamed up with business community Vegan Business Tribe to help businesses raise money during the current pandemic. Many businesses turn to the idea of crowdfunding as a way to raise funds, which is when individuals pledge an amount of money to a business that they want to support, usually in return for some kind of reward.

Vegan companies can register to take part in this new initiative, called Vegan Start-up Scale-up, through the Vegan Business Tribe website. The project will see Crowdfunder leading a group of vegan businesses through the process of crowdfunding as a group. Each company will still look to raise its own pot of money, but the group as a whole will be promoted by Crowdfunder and Vegan Business Tribe to investors and backers looking to support vegan businesses at this time.

Co-founder of Vegan Business Tribe, David Pannell, said “How to raise funds for a vegan business is one of the biggest questions we get asked by our members, especially at the moment when people are having to try out new ideas or pivot to new ways of doing business because of the pandemic – but the thing is, the money is out there. The problem is linking up those people who genuinely want to support vegan enterprises and help them grow with the vegan businesses owners who need to raise the funding. And Vegan Start-up Scale-up is how we’re looking to bring the two together in what is a really difficult time for many.”

‘Rewards-based’ crowdfunding is one of the most accessible ways for a small business to raise money because a company doesn’t need to give away any equity or ownership in return, and many backers are now familiar with the process and how it works. Although there are no guarantees that a company will hit its funding goal, many find that the extra exposure that running a crowdfunding campaign brings is just as valuable as hitting the target amount. The Vegan Start-up Scale-up project will allow vegan companies to go through this process with a group of like-minded business owners on the same mission and with extra coaching and support from both Vegan Business Tribe and Crowdfunder.

“We know people will have a lot of questions,” David continued. “Especially if this is their first time raising money through crowdfunding. How much money should you be trying to raise? What kind of rewards should you give? How do you get people to your crowdfunding page? We were really happy to find that there’s a very active bunch of vegan employees at Crowdfunder to be able to answer these questions and lead this coaching with our members! Along with their goal to support ethical businesses, and all the good work they have been doing themselves during the pandemic, it made Crowdfunder an obvious organisation to partner up with for the scheme. We’re also going the extra mile to support the scheme, and we’ve got a number of our Vegan Business Tribe members who have been through crowdfunding themselves, or are experts in raising vegan finance, who are going to run extra coaching and workshops for the project to ensure companies taking part have the best chance of reaching their funding goals.”

Companies can register their business to take part in the Vegan Start-up Scale-up on the Vegan Business Tribe website at www.veganbusinesstribe.com before the end of. There’s no minimum amount that a company needs to set as its funding target; it might be that you just need £2,000 to test a new idea, or maybe you’re even looking for £40,000 to launch a new product or scale up your business. An independent panel will also pick a ‘winner’ out of all the vegan companies who successfully reach their goal. This ‘winner’ will then go on to receive extra exposure and support.