Crowdfunding platforms are a tool that have transformed the business world the United States by giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to receive financial support without turning to financial institutions or lenders, and now a number of these platforms are available in Mexico.
The difference between the United States and Mexico is that there was a pre-existing culture of investment in the United States, while Mexico has never really had one before. It is more of an adopted behavior from our neighbors to the north.
It’s not customary in Mexico, for people to give money to someone they don’t know.
When you add this to the fact that most Mexicans don’t trust online money transactions and the fact that many people in the country don’t have access to the internet, it’s not the most encouraging environment for crowdfunding platforms, but they are still managing to succeed with a large number of projects.
Popularity is a major factor for projects not only in Mexico, but worldwide, because the more exposure you have, the more backers you get. But in Mexico in particular, this creates an atmosphere where some projects tend to end up with all the money and others with nothing, not really based on their quality, but rather on their exposure.
Charitable and humanitarian projects seem to take the lead, with the obvious factor that they are designed in order to help others and with a non-profit model that most people are willing to support. Second on the list are projects that everybody can enjoy, like restaurants, bars, exhibitions, entertainment, etc.
But what about everybody else?
The great thing about crowdfunding, is that it offers a more “democratic” approach for turning ideas or concepts into a reality because at the end of a crowdfunding campaign you might already have an idea of your market or the relevance, functionality and opportunity for your idea.
Many platforms offer international exposure which allows people from all over the world to fund a project.
Not all great projects are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, and that’s why most people have a problem with giving money to personal projects, because in Mexico most people consider this to be unfair, and think “Why give money to this person?, Nobody gives me money.”
But if you support personal projects, you’re opening the doors for more people to do the same, and therefore for more people to be able to get their projects funded, and one day you might be able to have your own project backed.
Therefore it’s important to highlight the projects that are a bit under the radar, but that show great potential.
At The News, we compiled a list of a few worthy local crowdfunding projects:
Recreo: A Community for Tomorrow’s Scientists (Kickstarter)
Creator: Manuel Meneses
Goal: 300,000 pesos
Ends: May 8, 2017
This a is a platform that wants to bring kids and science together in order to promote a desire for knowledge in children. All the content is overlooked by scientists and illustrated by Mexican artists.
Nunayú Empowerment Project (HIPgive)
Creator: The Well of Life NGO in Mexico City
Goal: 30,000 pesos
The Nunayú Project helps victims of human trafficking in Mexico City. It seeks funds in order to provide certified training programs for women and children.
“Your support will allow us to cover the cost of one course per month for all 13 women for one year. If we reach our goal we will also be able to purchase three computers that the women can use for their classes, as well as, help them run their jewelry business,” says the The Well of Life.
Sustainable Cities Cluster: Big Data and Sustainability (Kickstarter)
Creator: Antonio Valdés
Goal: 1,012,000 pesos
Ends: May 27, 2017
The purpose of this project is to create a set of directed networks that will allow data from different cities around the world to be shared and analyzed in order to develop more sustainable cities and therefore be able to decrease the global use of energy.
The detailed explanation might seem boring to some but this is exactly the type of project that could have a huge impact in our future.
Gastronomic Runway (Kickstarter)
Creator: University of the Cluster of Sorjuana in Mexico City
Goal: 30,000 pesos
Ends: May 18, 2017
This project consists of a fashion show organized by the students at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana, where students showcase their creations in a contest judged by experts of the gastronomic and fashion worlds.
The idea of this project is to show that gastronomy goes beyond just cooking food and that it can have an impact on other industries.
Students will use ingredients native to Mexico in order to make the clothes. The show has been organized since 2005 and the theme for this year’s show is Alebrijes.