Juridisk Institut

Crowdfunding, Law, Education, and Research (CLEAR)

Mission

About

We contribute to the development of crowdfunding through our dedicated research, education and cooperation with stakeholders. We do qualitative and quantitative research of the legal aspects of crowdfunding at both national, regional and international level and strive to share our knowledge widely and without costs so it may benefit the many.

 

Vision

We currently see the FinTech movement shaping, improving and disrupting the financial sector, often internationalising it. We see a growing number of crowdfunding service providers, investors and users. And we believe that the digital transformation of the well known community finance - crowdfunding - holds a valuable potential for business development and democratization of the financial services industry.

We envisage a world where access to community capital is common and where private individuals promote developments they desire by direct investment or donation. We also envisage this taking place within a predictable legal framework that protects investors, enables scale-up of crowdfunding as a business, restricts criminal activities, and matches the digital and international nature of crowdfunding. 

We strive to be the international hub for research and education activities relating to legal analysis of crowdfunding. We imagine this taking place through monodisciplinary legal efforts, interdisciplinary partnerships, and close collaboration with stakeholders and researchers.

 

Mission

Based in legal science we want to understand and inform stakeholders of the law and practice in crowdfunding so they can pursue opportunities, make informed regulatory decisions, increase trust in digital community finance, fight crime, and strike a fair balance between the many interests and interest-holders involved.

 

Values

We collaborate and share our knowledge willingly through frequent meetings, public lectures, and publications in open access outlets.

We base our work on mutual respect and commitment. While striving for our individual goals, we share opportunities and aim to qualify each others’ performance.

We take pride in our work, strive to excel and are aware that we have the privileged position of shedding light on areas without bias or to the benefit of those who are unable to do so themselves. 

We are The CLEAR Project.

 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Many crowdfunding investors are driven by their desire to promote a particular agenda. The technological means in place today enables individuals to invest directly in business and non-profit initiatives. Hence, it is important that the existing legal framework both assists and promotes such development while balancing the need to combat money laundering, fraud and other unwanted activities. 

Crowdfunding truly enables ‘voting with your wallet’ and allows individuals to take action on agendas they find important. According to the Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, the global alternative finance industry facilitated more than US$ 305 billion in transaction volume in 2018, out of which half came from private individuals, so-called retail investors. More than two thirds of the volume was facilitated through peer-to-peer lending.

The UN estimates that reaching the 17 sustainable development goals will cost $5 trillion. While crowdfunding is not yet mature enough to raise that kind of money, it is a form of finance that is individually motivated and rooted in the civic community interests and may therefore harness the megatrends of social responsibility, green agendas and climate action. While crowdfunding may still be a new and relatively uncommon way of finance when compared to the established loan markets one should not dismiss its power too swiftly. Not only is crowdfunding able to generate significant financial support for a cause, it is anchored in each individual’s desire to help or promote a particular person, idea or cause.

 

We believe that crowdfunding is a tool to reach some of the 17 UN SDGs and it is The CLEAR Project’s aim to contribute to the access to capital through research and education. In particular, we focus on the sustainable development goal 9: 

  • “[b]uild resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. 
    • Target 9.3, to “[i]ncrease the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets”. 
      • Indicator 9.3.1 “Proportion of small-scale industries in total industry value added”. 
      • Indicator 9.3.2 Proportion of small-scale industries with a loan or line of credit. 

 

We also focus on the sustainable development goal 17:

  • “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”. 
    • Target 17.17 “Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships”. 
      • Indicator 17.17.1 “Amount of United States dollars committed to public-private and civil society partnerships”.

 

We recognise that crowdfunding - as a tool to access capital either through donations or as investments - may assist in achieving many other sustainable development goals, such as community financing of micro-businesses, water treatment facilities, solar plants, education facilities, and more.

 

Finally, we are curious about the fact that research shows that female fundraisers seem to raise more in crowdfunding campaigns than their male counterparts. Hence, we are open to exploring whether crowdfunding may be a method to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5: 

  • “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” 
    • Target 5.5. “Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”
    • Indicator 5.5.2 “Proportion of women in managerial positions