Local Crowdfunding Site Helps Entrepreneurs Raise Funds

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During its first six months of operations, TosFund—Cambodia’s first home-grown crowdfunding platform—has raised close to $14,000 for projects listed on its website.

Launched in march this year, TosFund provides local NGOs and entrepreneurs with an alternative way of raising capital for their projects, filling a gap as traditional donor funding dries up.

Cedric Jancloes, the co-founder of the crowdfunding platform, said the initiative aims to counteract the expected decrease in funding after Cambodia achieved lower-middle income country status.

“We are at a crossroads between the golden years of development and a new era of middle income to higher income private sector potential,” he said. “As the aid is diminishing, we hope that we can make the private sector and individuals come out to continue supporting projects that will need money.”

However, the majority of the contributions to projects posted on TosFund come from foreigners. Jesse Orndorff, the innovation program manager at Development Innovations (DI), a USAID-funded technology support project that helped support TosFund’s development, said to grow as a viable fundraising platform for local projects and ventures, TosFund will need to encourage more Cambodians to participate.

“If the crowdfunding platform is only serving local expats to donate to interesting businesses, that’s going to be a challenge because it will be a small market,” he said.

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