The Blue Crowdfunding Interreg Med project has assisted 22 innovative blue economy enterprises in obtaining financing. Nine of them met the minimum financing goal for their crowdfunding campaigns, raising a total of €103,867.
During the last 32 months, several activities have been carried out to promote an alternative financial tool for the economic growth of the Mediterranean Region, particularly in the Blue Economy sector, which is one of the most important for its economy and plays a vital role for the climate transition.
The Blue Crowdfunding Interreg Med project provided an overview of crowdfunding as an alternative financial tool for transforming innovative ideas into reality in the blue economy sector to European innovators, entrepreneurs, SMEs, and public authorities.
This was accomplished through project practices such as the crowdfunding material training tool, regional training for SMEs, quadruple helix workshops, the train the trainer's program, study visits, blue crowdfunding focal points, the blue crowdfunding cluster, and roadmaps of existing framework conditions.
These actions led to several successful crowdfunding campaigns addressing issues such as smart shipping, sustainable swimwear, maritime clean-up activities, and Mediterranean wildlife.
The Marche Region's ‘Mare Circolare’ initiative was a major success, raising its goal of 40,000 euros in just 60 days. More than 90 donors contributed to the campaign because of excellent communications that combined online activities, live events, and citizen participation. The Pelikan waste boat is now cruising the shoreline of the Marche Regions, clearing its seas of plastic and other debris thanks to the match-funding campaign.
Thanks to public authorities like the Marche and Campania regional governments in Italy, and the Region of Central Macedonia in Greece, the project consortium has published guidelines, recommendations, and best practices for implementing and collaborating public bodies with private initiatives financed through crowdfunding.
The Blue Crowdfunding Interreg Med project has also allowed the creation of the Blue Crowdfunding Focal Points, which are regional business support centres where innovative entrepreneurs receive support for their blue economy ideas to be crowdfunded.
Blue Crowdfunding Focal providers:
- Official Chamber of Commerce of Seville (Spain)
- Institute for Comprehensive Development Solutions e-ZAVOD (Slovenia)
- Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Rijeka (Croatia)
- Network of the Insular CCI of the European Union (Greece)
- Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Cyprus)
More than just the money.
The lessons gathered over the course of the project's 2.5 years have recently been published in the new Blue Crowdfunding Interreg Med project brochure.
Crowdfunding can help overcome the financial gap between early-stage innovative enterprises and the money needed to launch their innovations and reach the market, decreasing the need for government subsidies and bank loans.
But it's not just about money! Crowdfunding may connect you with a large number of individuals who are interested in your idea or business, forming a community that can supply you with useful insights and information.
Hence, crowdfunding also works as a proof of concept for market validation, as it gives you a reality check; you can see if others share the belief and value in your project or idea.