Connected with the question where we as savers invest our spare money is the question: where do entrepreneurs get their working capital from? A whole new business has established itself on the internet, so-called crowdfunding platforms. With crowdfunding, people are sought who will pool their money in order to get projects off the ground. This is how some bands finance their next album – by asking their fans. Film makers make advance sales of DVDs to fund their next documentary. Festival organisers give out tickets to “the crowd” to fill their coffers before the festival. Instead of going to commercial banks and paying high interest charges, such projects finance themselves through many small contributions from those who will later use the service they have helped to finance. Thus the customer becomes the financier.
Where no group of financial supporters can be found, microcredit can be a way to get funding. In ‘developing’ countries microcredit has often been a springboard towards self-sufficiency, being used to create the necessary tools to start small businesses. In Germany the GLS bank and the cooperative behind the Chiemgauer local currency, Regios e.G., have experimented with micro-credit. The Chiemgauer has even created internally financed, interest-free microcredits to be loaned in local currency. Here microcredit and regional currency have mutually stimulated each other.