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Raising funds for your business can be a challenge. Crowdfunding — collecting financial contributions from many strangers not usually connected to the financial sector — represents an alternative to traditional forms of financing your business dream.

Crowdfunding is usually done over the Internet, for a fee, through crowdfunding platforms and funding portals. Participating in online communities dedicated to this type of fundraising can help you collect donations, offer rewards and take pre-orders. Equity crowdfunding is an option in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is being considered by other provincial and territorial securities regulators, and could become an option in those regions. Stay informed about what you can and can't do.

Keep in mind that by exposing your business idea to the public, you run the risk of having your ideas copied. Do your research to find out how to protect your intellectual property.

Many factors contribute to a successful campaign, including the number of people who see your campaign, and whether they buy into your idea. Telling a compelling story and raising awareness about your campaign are vital, so tools such as social media have an important role in promoting your campaign. Be sure to do some research to find the right crowdfunding platform to showcase your idea.

While crowdfunding will not work for every venture, it can be a way to test and validate your ideas and also to promote your business.

  • Crowdfunding 101

    Learn more about crowdfunding in Canada and stay informed about the regulations in your region.

  • Crowdfunding Directory

    Discover a list of Canadian crowdfunding portals, platforms and service providers that can help you find the right online community to fund your venture.

  • Alberta BoostR
    Applies only to: Alberta

    This crowdfunding platform can help your Alberta business raise money through a community of supporters, in exchange for a reward.

  • Social Venture Exchange
    Applies only to: Ontario

    Make your connection to social and environmental impact ventures, funds, and investors in Ontario.

  • Online marketing

    Online marketing techniques like social networking, emailing and blogging are useful and involve little to no direct costs.

  • Copyright and intellectual property

    Learn about the different types of intellectual property, and how they can protect your business.

  • Start-up Crowdfunding Exemption
    Applies only to: Nova Scotia

    Find out how to raise capital for your Nova Scotia start-up business through equity crowdfunding.

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