'Keep the crowd in crowdfunding': Fears financial watchdog will make investment only for the wealthy and end the £10 punt

For financier-turned-entrepreneur Dom Jackman the UK Crowdfunding Association’s recent conference, held in London Bridge’s towering Ernst and Young office block, brought back a certain sense of déjà vu.

Three years ago he was working in the very same building – before he left to set up his own business, Escape the City, which helps others find new jobs away from the daily grind of the corporate world.

The firm has been a hit and one year ago Dom, a panelist at the conference, turned to crowdfunding to fund expansion of his fledgling start-up. Thanks to investments from 394 different people it is now a runaway success.

TV celebrity: Kevin McCloud already has 300 investors for his successful crowdfunding campaignTV celebrity: Kevin McCloud already has 300 investors for his successful crowdfunding campaign

The role of investors like Dom’s were very much central to debate at the UKCFA’s ‘keep the crowd in crowdfunding’ conference, held ahead of a consultation on new industry regulation – due to be released in the next few weeks.


Designer and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has raised £1million through crowd-funding website crowdcube for his innovative house building firm Hab Housing.

The £1m raised to date has been invested by more than 300 individuals pledging amounts ranging from £100 to £150,000.

The company plans to invest in growth and to move into the Custom Build housing market, and aims to offer investors a 5 per cent dividend by the end of 2016.

The industry has been widely praised for filling a gaping hole left by the banks in supporting small businesses looking for funding.

But, as panelists were quick to point out, less has been made of the growth of the industry when it comes to investors.

In discussions over regulation, the idea of closing crowdfunding to all but high net worth investors has been touted.

Read more at This Is Money

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