Crowdfunding site to help Portsmouth groups and businesses launched by council

SMALL businesses, charities and groups in Portsmouth will be able to 'unlock' vital funds with the launch of a new city crowdfunding website today.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 2:19 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:15 pm
Stef Nienaltowski at the Shaping Portsmouth conference, January 2019. Picture: Matt Farmer

The Crowdfund Portsmouth site will allow local businesses and social enterprises to raise money from the public as well as pitch for a share of a £40,000 pot of match-funding cash from the council.

Set up by Portsmouth City Council and Shaping Portsmouth, it is hoped the site will create new jobs, help residents gain new skills and increase productivity.

The scheme was approved by the council's culture boss, Councillor Steve Pitt, in October last year.

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He said: 'Our Portsmouth crowdfunding initiative allows local businesses who meet the criteria to unlock money from the council as well as the 'crowd' to make their ideas a reality - all through a simple online process.

'We are particularly keen to hear from businesses and social enterprises who add social value.'

A similar scheme was set up by Plymouth City Council in 2015 and has since raised a total of £1.5m, towards 60 projects. £250,000 was pledged by the council as match funding.

Stef Nienaltowski, the chief executive officer at Shaping Portsmouth, added: 'This announcement is an important step forward for our brilliant small business community.

'Access to affordable funding is one of the key hurdles faced by businesses and this partnership with Portsmouth City Council, Crowdfunder and Shaping Portsmouth has the potential to ignite the opportunity we have in front of us.

'I am grateful to both our partners in supporting this programme and I fully expect it to make a significant difference in 2020.'

Small and medium-sized organisations will have to apply to the council for crowdfunding status before going on to set a target.

The £40,000 for match-funding has already been agreed by the council as well as a budget of £30,000 to subscribe to a crowdfunding platform for three years.

Portsmouth council will be holding information workshops for businesses and individuals looking to start their own business to find out more about the scheme.

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