Laramie, Wyoming may not be the first place you would look for an innovative experiment in digital age economic revitalization. And at first glance, Diane Wolverton and Kim Vincent might not fit the image of change agents.
But the pair has been quietly building a crowdfunding ecosystem across rural America that is helping communities lift themselves up by their own bootstraps.
Wolverton and Vincent are cofounders of Laramie-based The Local Crowd (TLC), a hyper-local rewards-based crowdfunding platform that works with rural communities to create crowdfunding ecosystems that support growth and sustainability of local businesses. TLC provides the technology, training and hands on support, but the locally branded crowdfunding platforms are operated by—and for the benefit of —the local communities.
Since launching their first local platform in Laramie in 2015, Wolverton and Vincent have expanded into 15 communities in 13 states, from Butte, Montana to Monadnock, New Hampshire. To date, 35 campaigns have been conducted across the various TLC sites, raising a total of $150,000.
Local businesses typically seek small amounts of money on TLC—$5,000 to $7,000 on average. But this kind of grassroots crowdfunding provides vital seed capital, especially in rural areas where capital is scarce. […]
The post The Local Crowd: Building a Crowdfunding Ecosystem Across Rural America appeared first on Locavesting.
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