Crowdfunding Expert Kendall Almerico Commented on Italy's Equity Crowdfunding Law

Crowdfunding expert Kendall Almerico, CEO of crowdfunding website ClickStartMe, commented on Italy moving ahead of the United States by passing its own equity crowdfunding laws and, in the coming days, putting them into effect. Almerico says that this puts Italy ahead of the U.S., whose own equity crowdfunding law was passed, but has sat in limbo for months while the SEC writes rules to implement the law.

“Italy passed their equity crowdfunding law and implemented it quickly, so the Italian people can immediately utilize the great opportunities equity crowdfunding brings,” Almerico, a JOBS Act expert, said. “Meanwhile, here in the United States, we have been waiting for more than a year for regulations to implement our own law that was signed by the President in April 2012. It is ridiculous.”

Almerico notes that while the JOBS Act in the U.S. was passed into law in April 2012 legalizing online crowdfunding to sell equity and raise funds online to start a business, the rules allowing the law to be implemented have been stuck in the hands of the SEC for months, allowing other countries to move ahead.

Equity crowdfunding is the sale of equity, stock or shares in a business through an online crowdfunding portal. At present, equity crowdfunding is not legal in the United States, but will be once rules are passed by the SEC. For now, individuals wishing to raise money to start a business must use rewards-based crowdfunding through sites like ClickStartMe, where pre-sales of products, discounts and other items can be exchanged for financial contributions, but not equity in the business.

“Crowdfunding is already doing in Italy what we were promised would happen here,” Almerico says. “The business world there will be changed and the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), their version of the SEC, realized how important is was to implement the laws quickly.” The Italian law, commonly known as “The Growth Act” encourages business start-ups and innovation, Almerico says. The Growth Act states that a crowdfunded offering must have at least a 5% investment by a professional investor CONSOB-registered institution to crowdfund, and allows up to €5 million per year to be equity crowdfunded.

Almerico hopes this development will spur on the SEC to complete its work on the JOBS Act. “Hopefully, the SEC will take Italy’s lead and finally get the rules done,” Almerico adds. “America is waiting patiently for the financing revolution to start.”

Kendall Almerico is the CEO of ClickStartMe, the crowdfunding site that provides individuals and businesses with an easy-to-use website to raise funds through online crowdfunding. Almerico is available for interviews and speaking engagements.