The EU Referendum and Crowdfunding

St John's Innovation Centre, Cambridge

We admit, we didn't get the referendum result we had hoped for. The UK has voted to Leave the EU. It was a close margin - one and a quarter million more on one side than the other -  but a very high turnout.

Most of the people we work with - the small business owners, the retail investors, the Fintech and alternative finance communities - understand the value of the EU, and believe it brings many benefits to our country. But a lot of people disagree with us, and we didn't get what we wanted.

Emily Mackay of Crowdsurfer has written a reflective piece that is helping us to focus on the future. Crowdsurfer is based in St. John's Innovation Centre, Cambridge. Cambridge is the university of Newton, Darwin and Alan Turing.  A global city since the Middle Agres, we are not surprised to hear it voted to Remain.  

We’re more than a bit uneasy

"Over the last 24 hours, we have followed the fallout from the vote and closely monitored the reaction from the crowd finance industry," writes Emily. "As a very international team it’s fair to say we’re more than a bit uneasy about the outcome. However, there could be great opportunity in this change for the industry,  "

The full article is on Crowdsurfer's own website. We'll highlight four points, and our responses.

  • Funding shortages will continue. That's an incentive to keep growing crowd finance.  We agree, and have written recently on the SME Funding Gap.

  • The Bank of England will be doing its best to keep everything stable. That will most likely mean small investors will have to look around for decent returns. So let's help them.

  • Doubt and uncertainty abound in just about everything! Well, yes, they do. Another Crowd believes that's part of life.  We don't agree with wild speculative risk-taking, but we have learned from our northern grandmothers that a lot of life is about Making The Best Of A Bad Situation.

  • An increased perception of risk is an opportunity to do good things, rather than succumb to fear.  It may slow down the rate of adoption, but it should improve the quality of deals and educate more investors in the practice of due diligence and the need for transparency and information sharing.

Forty-eight percent of people didn't get what they wanted.  But now, we must do our best to make it work for all of us.