Last year, crowdfunding dominated the funding space, over venture capitalists. It is projected to hit the $93 billion mark by 2025.
This tremendous growth in the industry is due to people like you, fellow founders and enthusiastic backers who keep startups and great ideas moving forward.
Unfortunately, on mainstream crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo there are very few or no protections in place for workers, the environment or consumers. That nifty solar charging backpack seems like a great product, but without supply chain reporting it is very difficult for backers to know if the products were made using sustainable materials or if the company employs manufacturers that prioritize fair wages and healthy work conditions.
As we currently exist within a globalized capitalist system, the most immediate method to prevent the negative impact of climate change, sexism and poverty is to end support for unethical, unsustainable companies and products, and instead “vote with our wallets” and strictly purchase items that have a neutral or positive impact on the planet and communities.
Often times, when we think of ethical purchasing we consider what we buy from stores or which unethical corporate giants to avoid. This is important, incredibly important in fact. However, it is equally important to hold small businesses and startups accountable for their supply chains and practices. This may seem like too much to ask – some might argue that holding startups to such high standards might stagnate business growth.
To quote UpEffect CEO, Sheeza Shah ” No system in the world can progress too far without morality which is why many in the world are now paying the price.” Extreme inequality and practices that neglect human rights and the limited resources of our planet are simply unsustainable. The first lesson you learn in business school is to build a financially sustainable company, one where the revenue sources can be long term.
This being said, we as consumers should insist that even the smallest of businesses prioritize sustainable practices, not only to help others and the environment, but also to ensure our economy and societies can continue in a long term sense – as opposed to the current shortsightedness of business that perpetuates a stressful cycle of boom and bust.
If we are to hold both large and small businesses to a high standard of sustainability, as consumers we need to remember that our purchases have weight no matter where the transaction takes place. As we discussed before, crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular, if not the most popular, method of raising funds or vetting an idea in the marketplace. Because of this, consumers and backers alike need to take into account the impact their online financial support has.
All campaigns on UpEffect are vetted and go through a review process so that we can ensure our businesses are equipped to implement the campaign they are asking money for. We look for the following in all of our campaigns: Impact and financial metrics, fair trade, clean supply chains, and team credibility
As every individual deserves a champion, especially one set out to positively change the world, we invite the public to be backers of our campaigns.
When you back a campaign, you are helping an impact idea come to life. In return, you get to see the social impact your support contributes to as well as benefit from rewards offered by the campaign. Take a moment to explore our past, present and upcoming campaigns here.