May 19, 2020

Crowdfunding: a brief overview

Crowdfunding: a brief overview
Catherine Rowell
2 min
Crowdfunding: a brief overview

Once seen as a subject to be met with caution, crowdfunding has been increasing in popularity, providing an alternative method of supporting SMEs and businesses seeking to get off the ground and gain financial investment from a number of sources to develop business operations. With over 500 crowdfunding platforms up and running worldwide, we take a brief look at how crowdfunding has developed and how it can benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Different models

Three different types of crowdfunding have been established, providing a number of advantages for entrepreneurs. One is where donations are supplied by individuals, with no return on investment. The second model is increasingly favoured, where investors receive certain benefits in return, such as a discount on certain products or future services. One such company which has recently seen the benefits of such a model is Brewdog, which is now valued at £1 billion. Thirdly, there is now an established equity model, where investors are able to place equity within the business in return of placing a significant financial investment.

Advantages of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding will undoubtedly spread the word of a business and raise its profile, garnering the attention of investors and drive audience engagement. The move will also provide essential feedback where necessary, in order for a business to successfully enter certain markets. Through crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can raise their reputation, put across their business model, sell equity and gain increased benefits, but also creates excitement among investors if there is a strong business case or innovation to invest in.

Challenges of crowdfunding

Several challenges still remain with crowdfunding, where the most common is the violation of intellectual property. Businesses are not protected from their products or business model becoming copied or replicated by competitors, unless the business or product is patented or businesses have gained copyright permissions.

In addition, to not succeed in a crowdfunding campaign could result in a loss of reputation and investor interest for businesses, creating long term difficulties. This could also open up the possibility of abuse from external parties.

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Jun 10, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


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