Whether it’s local investing in everybody eats restaurants, the microfinancing of entrepreneurs through Kiva, or citizen-funded clean energy through eco-bonds, we’ve featured plenty of ways to get passed the big banks and put your money to work.
Peer2Peer Finance Goes Mainstream
In the UK there are already a number of peer2peer lending sites, like ZOPA, that are offering rates of return far better than your traditional bank. A new venture called civilisedmoney is aiming to take this model even further, offering a fully transparent, crowd-funded alternative to every service offered by mainstream banks:
Eventually civilisedmoney will offer all the services that you currently associate with traditional banks, and some you don't. You'll be able to choose what happens with your money, whether you participate in lending, borrowing, investing, donating, fundraising or transacting. civilisedmoney is the first to bring together a range of people-to-people financial solutions. It's the people-to-people portal. Whatever you do with your money, you'll be able to do it at fair and transparent rates. And your money will always be your money.
A Broad Range of Financial Products and Services
The initial roll out appears to focus on rewards-based funding, much like Kickstarter, but if I have understood the website correctly, civilisedmoney will eventually expand to include equity-based funding where people receive shares in a business, as well as peer2peer lending and borrowing similar to ZOPA.
And to fund it all, they are currently seeking to crowdfund GB£ 100,000, with 10% of equity in the business up for grabs. Neil Crofts, co-founder, says it’s all about creating alternatives to the traditional banking industry:
“Banks will not change themselves - they’ve no incentive to do so. Politicians will not change banking – they’re too dependent on existing financial institutions. civilisedmoney and people-to-people technology give people the power to make this change themselves and make money and banking more civilised for all.”
Anyone with £10 or more and a UK address is welcome to invest. The crowdfunding period is open until 10th of November, or until the target amount is reached. With Occupy Wall Street continuing to voice popular anger at the mainstream financial institutions, maybe the time really is right for the 99% to create their own versions.