Roundtable: crowdfunding as a means to engage diaspora
On July 19, 2017, the Moldovan Government held a roundtable dedicated to the topic of the legislative and regulatory framework for crowdfunding (collective online funding) in Moldova. The round table aimed at validating a report prepared earlier by Mr. Iulian Rusu, a national IOM consultant, who studied international and European practices for regulating crowdfunding activities, assessed the national legislative and regulatory framework and elaborated recommendations for its adaptation to crowdfunding activities in Moldova.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Ghenadie Cretu, Migration and Development Program Coordinator, Ms. Olga Coptu, Head of the Diaspora Bureau, Mr. Iulian Rusu, IOM Consultant, Ms. Cristina Buga, Diaspora Consultant of the President of Moldova, representatives of the Migration and Development Project (MiDL),UNDP, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, National Financial Market Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, National Bank of Moldova, Moldova Agroindbank, Moldincombank, as well as Moldovan IT representatives, Ms Elena Zgardan, founder of the Govern24, Ms Michelle Iliev, ATIC and others.
Mr. Cretu opened the meeting, saying: “Crowdfunding is a reality promoted by several actors in Moldova: the government, the individual operator sector and the diaspora. Crowdfunding aims to mobilize diaspora's financial resources to attract and use them in local development. The motivation to support one project or another is not new; Moldovans from abroad were the first donors. What's new is the way one contributes” referring to the first crowdfunding projects, for which members of the Moldovan diaspora donated.
Mr. Iulia Rusu, expert in jurisprudence, succinctly presented the content of the report and the recommendations he proposed for the adoption of the legislative and regulatory framework, underlining that the legislative framework currently offers the minimum necessary for practicing crowdfunding in Moldova. There are only two models of collective financing in Moldova – the one based on donations and the one based on non-financial returns.
IOM partners, the Migration and Local Development (MiDL) project, presented their own experience of promoting collective funding activities at a local level and the statistics regarding donations and donor that supported the 23 fundraising campaigns that were run by 23 local city halls.
At the meeting, was also discussed the possibility of using crowdfunding to stimulate the emergence and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For now, it is difficult to implement it, given the issues in the legislative framework and the lack of experience in the other two crowdfunding models – the lending-based and investment- and equity-based that would more closely target entrepreneurial activity.
The IOM Consultant has provided recommendations for each type of crowdfunding including: regulating the written form of the contract between the beneficiary and the platform where the funds are collected, clarifying the commissions received during a donation, clarifying the state of the crowdfunding operators, advancing the adoption of the draft law on organizations non-bank financial institutions, as well as limiting donor contributions in order to ensure the security and legality of donations.
This workshop was possible thanks to the Consolidating Moldova’s Migration and Development Institutional Framework (MIDIDOM) project, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the IOM and Diaspora Relations Bureau.
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