Alternative Investments

ECAF Kicks Off Annual Crowdfunding Research Seminars

Stockholm (NordSIP) – The European Centre for Alternative Finance (ECAF), the Utrecht University research centre that takes as its central objective to guide the international research agenda on alternative finance, supporting financial inclusion and access to finance, launched its inaugural crowdfunding research week this past June (June 7-9), which also included a day dedicated to alternative finance crowdfunding in the Nordics.

ECAF is a joint initiative of Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.), the CrowdfundingHub and the Sustainable Finance Lab. The June event was designated as the kick-off event for a network of international researchers contributing to an “Alternative Finance Knowledge Base” that will be institutionalised in the coming years to allow for the exchange of ideas, data and materials, reports’s Erin Hobey.

Several working groups were established at the events to facilitate continuing collaboration between researchers from a number of international universities. These took form following an introductory day featuring keynotes by ECAF director Ronald Kleverlaan, VU Amersterdam professor Dr. Rene Bekkers and University of Trier professor Dr. Jorn Block and the setting of the agenda on newly emerging alternative forms of corporate financing and crowdfunding for philanthropy, arts and culture.

Following a discussion of crowdfunding from the corporate finance perspective with emphases on investment activities in equity crowdfunding and the combination of crowdfunding with other areas of entrepreneurial financing, the working groups addressed topics like impact/sustainability, equity crowdfunding, and crowdfunding in the creative and cultural sectors.

The Nordic countries were in focus on the final day of the conference, with research being presented on rewards-based crowdfunding for the creative and cultural industries. The research week concluded with a session exploring the possibilities of setting up an “EU COST” (an EU funded programme enabling researchers to set up interdisciplinary research networks in Europe and beyond) action to support ongoing ECAF activities, with similar events planned in forthcoming years contingent on securing external funding and further growing the network.

Read more here.

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