The need for financing has always been a key issue for entrepreneurs. Hitherto, entrepreneurs mainly used banks and private equity to finance their business, such as Bank loans, Business Angels or Venture Capitals. However, the financial crisis of 2008 has made difficult for entrepreneurs to be competitive and to find financing. As a result, they began to look for alternatives to traditional financing. With the arrival of the internet, crowdfunding is emerging as a credible alternative for entrepreneurs.
The process of crowdfunding is fundamentally different from those of the traditional ways of financing, which leads to non-financial added values that could create a sustainable competitive advantage for entrepreneurs. Hence, the aim of this study is to determine if the non-financial added value of crowdfunding create a sustainable competitive advantage for entrepreneurs. In addition to the academic contribution, since this study includes several recommendations, it can be used by entrepreneurs as a guide to take full advantage of crowdfunding and as a tool to use crowdfunding to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
The nature of this study is exploratory and takes a qualitative methodological design. The author conducted four interviews with people directly involved in crowdfunding and entrepreneurship to gather valuable primary data. Secondary data come from reliable sources, such as academic papers, books, newspaper, and official reports. The purpose of the literature review is to have a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts needed to implement this study.
The results show that entrepreneurs can gain a sustainable competitive advantage through the non-financial added value of crowdfunding. However, according to this study, this depends on two key factors that are the business environment and the manner entrepreneurs use crowdfunding.