Despite the current economic climate, there is no shortage of retail entrepreneurs. However, getting a new operation off the ground and competing with brands takes capital, and that is hard to come by… or is it? Luke Lang, co-founder of crowdfunding website Crowdcube, takes a look at an alternative way to finance growth that has helped many retail start-ups give banks the boot.
… A significant proportion of the pitches on Crowdcube are in the retail industry.
For example Gem Misa, who had a successful career in Unilever as a global brand manager for one of its top products, left in 2009 to set up Righteous, the UK’s first ‘all natural’ salad dressing brand with its great-tasting dressing that is preservative-free, gluten-free and 100% vegan.
Gem turned to crowdfunding after researching bank loans and angel investment. She found the repayment rates with the banks were too high and was worried about the control that business angels might take over her company. In contrast, she found crowdfunding was pretty straightforward on Crowdcube; even the legal and administrative process after the full funding was reached. Crowdfunding also provided Righteous with an additional asset: a group of investors who are evangelists for the brand as well.