Crowdfund British manufacturing


The master of crowd funding. Simon Middleton of Shackleton.

With traditional streams of funding for small businesses and start-ups having all but dried up, entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives to get their projects off the ground. Crowdfunding has become a bit of a business buzz-word, when it comes to raising revenue, but does the concept really work?

The short answer is YES! Where the banks are failing, ‘real’ people are seeing the potential in innovative business ideas and putting their money where their mouths are. The basic premise is that anyone with a business idea, invention or innovation can open a account on one of the many crowd funding websites and then pledge rewards for a certain level of investment. These pledges are usually pre-orders of the product they are trying to fund. If, after a set amount of time the entrepreneur reaches their anticipated level of funding then they receive that amount. However, if they fail to achieve the requested level of funding then they receive nothing. Simple.

A great by-product of Crowdfunding is that is tests a products potential market. However, success is not just down to how great the product is. There is also a great deal of reliance on how well those behind it are able to promote their funding campaign. Arguably this is a pretty good litmus test of a businesses potential to succeed long term.

So what does this mean for British manufacturing? Well, we have had contact with many British manufacturing businesses that have gone down the crowd funding route, some successfully and some not. The masters of crowd funding at the moment seem to be Shacklton who have just completed their 2nd round of money raising. First they succeeded in raising nearly £50,000 bring their British made banjos to market and most recently they raised over£33,000 for their Ernest Shacklton themed clothing label.  Other British manufacturing businesses to benefit from crowd funding include; Michelle Reece of Fire Faerie Designs who raised £4,000 for her handmade jewellery business and Dereks who raised £2,500 in order bring their unique backpack designs to market.


Playpress are looking for funding now!

One business currently trying to raise funding is Playpress. They have designed a creative play toy they intend on making in the UK. If you want to fund them click here.

For those that have a business idea then crowd funding might just be the route to enable your dreams to become a reality. You are going to have to get out there and do some serious promotion… like anything, nobody is just going to give you the money. And if you want to help some good old entrepreneurship, while also getting your hand of some fantastically innovative products, then take a look through some of the crowdfunding websites and get investing.

Please let us know about your experiences with crowdfunding in the comments below.


  1. I found crowdfunding a really viable alternative to mainsteam finance options. However it is still not an easy option. It takes commitmemt and hard work to get funded.

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  2. I really enjoy supporting projects with small amounts of money, basically putting money up front for goods that may (or sometimes may not) arrive many months later. I prefer to support British people and items made in Britain, although if an idea grabs my interest from elsewhere I will support it. Many thanks for highlighting this one; I will go and take a look.

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