Calling your inner venture capitalist

With start-ups and small business at historic lows, a provision of the federal Jumpstart our Business Start-Ups (JOBS) Act is being promoted to encourage venture capitalist investment. The law allows new businesses to raise up to $1 million every 12 months through equity crowdfunding. Businesses from biotech start-ups to horse-racing stables have raised more than $10 million so far.

The shares are available through “portals”, which are run by licensed stock brokers who review the legitimacy of the start-ups seeking funds. You can register with a portal to become an investor with one or more of its companies and to receive news of new offerings.

A portals offer a prospectus for each company it handles and lists the minimum investment for each, which usually ranges from $2,000 down to as little as $20. Your investment is held in escrow until the funding target is met. If the venture survives and goes public, you reap a share of the rewards.

TRENDPOST: Crowdfunding is emerging as a key source of early capital for new businesses and the number of portals is growing to match. Within a decade, crowdfunding will rival OTC stock markets in investment volume and value. But the larger picture for start-ups continues to trend downward. A stalled, central banks-rigged system that has pumped cheap money into the economy for nearly a decade to favor the one percent, has suppressed small business innovation and investment.

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