Many attendees at the first annual Next Generation Entrepreneurship and Global Crowdfunding Forum at Santa Monica on Nov. 16 saw crowdfunding as the clearest path to an economic comeback.
One of the distinguished speakers, Howard J. Leonhardt, founder of the California Stock Xchange, predicted: “Crowdfunding will bring the grandest expression of human creativity and economic growth ever seen in the history of human civilization and will unleash the dreams, will and burning desire of people who want to show what they can do – particularly those who have never been given a chance before.”
Others pointed out how crowdfunding has the potential to transform and democratize the funding industry by putting a lot more capability into the hands of the public – who have already proved their financing power. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2010, while $9.4 billion was committed by angel investors, $41.6 billion in private capital came from friends and family.
More recent data reveals further insights: In 2011, 4.8 percent of the U.S. population personally provided funds for new businesses