Equity Crowdfunding via the Public Library


Crowdfunding is changing the world for the better, reducing barriers to entry for writers, innovators and inventors. So when I heard the news about equity crowdfunding becoming legal earlier this year, I couldn't help but wonder, "What role for public libraries?"

The intent of equity crowdfunding is to make it easier for individuals who are not wealthy to purchase shares in new business ventures. Doing so can be risky, and investors can always lose all their invested money. Yet, at the same time, there can be an upside to equity investment — when done wisely and prudently.

How about if a community were to pool its wisdom and prudence to make small-scale equity investments? Doing so would promote conversations about risk and upside, which would itself bring value to communities. Such communal equity crowdfunding would also spur the entrepreneurial spirit in a community.

I share some of my thinking on this topic in the following screencast, which I created on my old Linux laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 — circa 2008 (Watch a video about this laptop).  I purposely use older computer equipment to illustrate how it can be used for sharing ideas in multimedia form, with free video web hosting on YouTube.  Maybe libraries should be loaning out such laptops? 


What are your thoughts on equity crowdfunding via public libraries? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Equity Crowdfunding Readings and Related Links (Assembled in August 2016) 

Image: Fabian Blank / CC0