Northern New York Group Helps Entrepreneurs with Crowdfunding Program
The Adirondack North Country Association launched a crowdfunding program last month to help local businesses raise money for their projects.
The Adirondack North Country Association is looking to help northern New York entrepreneurs and small businesses to raise money for their projects through a new crowdfunding program called Ignite!
“Our mission is to help the small communities in this rural region thrive, and entrepreneurs are a huge part of that,” said ANCA’s Communications and Development Director Caitlin Wargo.
Ignite! gives small businesses or entrepreneurs the opportunity to submit a proposal for their project, which is then reviewed by a group of stakeholders to ensure it’s in alignment with the program’s requirements. Once it passes muster, it goes up on the Ignite! site, where people can start funding it. Ignite! is similar to Kickstarter, Wargo said, except that businesses and entrepreneurs can ask for no more than $5,000 for their project.
“We knew from our outreach and entrepreneurs that sometimes these very small amounts are just what they need,” she said, adding that sometimes small amounts of money can be hard to get a loan for, or sometimes small businesses are so new that they don’t qualify for a loan.
The first fully funded project was Green Goat Maps, a Saranac Lake-based mapmaking venture, which needed $3,000 to get the first rounds of maps printed. “It’s those little bits of capital that can make a big difference to small companies,” Wargo said.
In a press release [PDF], Green Goat Maps Founder Ezra Schwartzberg described how the program helped his business. “The Ignite! campaign helped reduce those initial costs and helped me get this new venture off the ground,” he said. “The campaign also confirmed for me and my supporters that there is a real need and market for these maps.”
The program has also funded a new chimney for Triple Green Jade Farm, which will allow it to bake the organic bread that helps the farm support itself. In addition, two other companies are currently in the process of raising funds on the platform, and there are more companies in review.
“By offering this opportunity, we’re not only helping small businesses to expand with some of their goals, but we’re helping bring awareness of these small businesses to a larger audience,” Wargo said. “We’re big advocates for shopping local, investing local, and keeping those dollars circulating in our region.”
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