4 July 2014, Written by Nick Nichols

THE Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB) has launched what it describes as a “crowd sourcing” initiative to help fledgling companies raise capital.

CEO Paul Niederer says the term shouldn’t be confused with crowd funding, where groups of people come together to capitalise a new idea or venture.

Under its new initiative, the Gold Coast-based ASSOB says will take a regional approach across Australia to assist companies in raising capital through the establishement of local funding hubs.

Niederer says the hubs offer an opportunity for “key influencers” in regional centres to contribute to economic growth and more jobs in their local area.

He says the proposal will link ASSOB to the likes of chambers of commerce, regional incubators and regional development boards that are willing to put up their hand to establish a local funding hub.

“The new regional funding hubs network being planned is designed to connect small to medium enterprises raising funds with a broader cross-section of the community,” he says.

“A regional funding hub connects local businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to raise capital with the backing of a proven capital raising platform and process.

“Since the GFC funding has been a high priority for many SMEs, and the regional funding hubs and ASSOB’s capital raising platform will assist businesses in structuring themselves to be attractive to investors.

“Regional funding hubs work with local government and local communities to locate businesses in need of capital, and will focus attention on the importance of funders, including banks, to support them.”

Niederer says ASSOB is the longest running equity funding platform in the world and has raised more than $138 million for more than 300 SMEs in recent years.

The group currently has 26,000 subscribers who are updtated regularly on new equity offers.

The ASSOB platform was highlighted as a success in the World Bank’s 2013 report on crowdfunding.

“Businesses trust their local support organisations and often equity funding comes from contacts at a local level,” Niederer says.

“SMEs seeking capital through their regional funding hub will also have access to ASSOB’s increasing international connections.

“This will add another layer of client access on top of our existing network of accredited ASSOB sponsors.”

Author: Nick Nichols





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