Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 12: Crowdfunding: sharing the entrepreneurial journey

Anirban Mukherjee, Hannah H. Chang and Amitava Chattopadhyay


Crowdfunding refers to obtaining “funding” for an entrepreneurial venture (a “project”) from a large community (the “crowd”). Why do people (backers) spend time, effort, and personal funds to support the development and promotion of an entrepreneurial venture by another? There are many inherent, non-negligible risks associated with entrepreneurial ventures. Furthermore, in rewards-based crowdfunding, which is the most widespread form of crowdfunding with the largest number of online platforms, even if a project succeeds, its backers will not benefit financially from its commercial success. In this chapter, the authors discuss two key human motivations-affiliation or belongingness, and status or power in a community-that may explain participation in crowdfunding. In addition, they describe the current role of crowdfunding in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and speculate on its future, given these two motivations.

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