Crowdfunding Justice

By Tadhg Walker

There is one thing lawyers need to invest time in a case: money. Money is usually the principal cause for a lot of people, even if they have a valid case, to be denied representation. The rule of law is meant to secure justice for all but many are denied this right due to a lack of capital. This funding gap has led to a growing number of crowdfunding sites dedicated to legal services, allowing the underrepresented to have their day in court.

Hiraa Khan, co-founder of CrowdDefend, came to this realisation during his three year term working at the American Civil Liberties Union. Khan discovered the “prohibitive costs of legal representation, court fees, associated trial costs can exclude most lower and middle income Americans from participating in the justice system, resulting in an astonishingly high number of legitimate legal matters that never make it to the courtroom.” According to Khan, 67% of poor Californians’ legal needs are not met by legal aid services, a fundamental violation of the rule of law. CrowdDefend is taking on “impactful, socially motivated cases,” like helping Adan to post bail in the USA where he is seeking asylum, after escaping gang members who were trying kill him in his home country of Guatemala.

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The Philippines takes to crowdfunding

By Crowdfund Vibe staff writers

Crowdfunding as a practice has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, taking place in small communities or through churches and other organizations. More recently, it has become popular on the internet for any number of projects, from obtaining money for independent films to charities looking to raise money to help people and animals.

Crowdfunding in the Philippines has become a very popular and unique way to draw attention to both humanitarian concerns, as well as a way of shedding light on some very talented people and business ventures. Websites like the Social Project and The Spark Project are getting the word out about some fantastic humanitarian and local business projects that are greatly benefitting the country. And internet crowdfunding allows for individuals to raise the money needed to meet these goals.

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Women in crowdfunding

By Katie Kostashchuk

Originally published on the Equitise Blog
(republished with permission)

As the world of finance has been, for a long time, seen as an ‘all boys club’, women have been marginalised in traditional forms of finance, venture capital and business angel investing. On average, women-owned firms start and grow their businesses with considerably less external financing compared to men (Department of Commerce US). In Australia, female entrepreneurs have experienced undercapitalisation as a core issue that undermining the success of growing their business. A 2013 study conducted by the (Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) of 3000 women entrepreneurs found that half of those surveyed required more funding to facilitate the growth of their business. The majority of those women have started their venture with less than $5000 worth of capital.

Crowdfunding platforms, however, now offer female entrepreneurs the chance to promote and grow their business by providing access to capital. By providing such opportunity, crowdfunding democratises finance by placing women on a level playing field with men. Moreover, with a growth in female entrepreneurship in Australia and the amount of women starting businesses increasing by 8.9% in 2013 (AWCCI), access to crowdfunding platforms in Australia will play a key role in providing capital to women. Women are almost 4 times more successful when crowdfunding than raising capital through traditional means. The number of female-owned businesses that receive venture funding in US is only 13%, however the number of crowdfunding campaigns run by women that meet their funding target is around 47% (Forbes).

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