The University of Cambridge Launches Europe Wide Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey: Twelve Major Industry Associations and EY Collaborate

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Crowdfund Insider | | Nov 25, 2014

European research alliance sponsored by University of CambrdigeThe University of Cambridge is teaming up with EY, the global professional services organization, to launch European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey with the support of major European industry associations. This is the largest study to date on crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other forms of alternative finance in Europe.

“Obtaining finance has become more challenging for SMEs since the financial crisis and economic downturn,” Navin Kaul, Partner at EY, indicated. “The continuing development of alternative finance models is providing greater choice across the market for SMEs and growing businesses. This study should help us understand the size and growth of this increasingly important sector of the European economy.”

Opening on 25 November and closing on 20 December, this benchmarking survey aims to capture the size, transaction volume and growth of the alternative finance markets across Europe.  Major national and regional crowdfunding associations in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and the UK are all participating in this groundbreaking research.

“Alternative financing models such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending offer challenges to both classical financing theories and to traditional finance providers,” Raghavendra Rau, the Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Professor of Finance at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, noted. “This benchmarking research will enable us to develop a better understanding of how various alternative financing models work in key European markets, in turn, offer value and insights to academics, policy-makers and practitioners.”

Since the global financial crisis, alternative finance, which includes financial instruments and distributive channels that emerge outside of the traditional financial system, has thrived in the US, the UK and Continental Europe. From equity-based crowdfunding to peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, from invoice trading to reward-based crowdfunding, these alternative financing activities are supplying credit to SMEs, providing venture capital to start-ups, offering more diverse and transparent ways for consumers to invest or borrow money, nurturing creativity, fostering innovation, generating jobs and funding worthwhile social causes.

Related:  Understanding Alternative Finance: The UK Alternative Finance Industry Report 2014

Although a number of studies, including those carried out by the University of Cambridge and its research partners, have documented the rise of alternative finance in key markets such as the UK, we actually know very little about the size, growth and diversity of the crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending industries in respective European countries. There is no independent, systematic and reliable academic research to scientifically benchmark the European alternative finance market. It is in this context that Cambridge University, EY and leading national industry associations are collaborating to collect and analyze aggregated national and regional data of the European alternative finance industries through this benchmarking survey.

Map of EuropeThe findings of the survey will be made publicly available in a European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report due to be published in January 2015. This benchmarking study will no doubt cast light on the bourgeoning European alternative finance markets, in turn informing policy-makers and regulators in respective jurisdictions, facilitating dialogue and learning between industry associations and key stakeholders, raising the level of awareness about crowdfunding and p2p lending in start-up and SME communities, social enterprise and social finance spheres and among the general public.

This benchmarking survey is supported by FPF, ANACOFI and AFIP (France), the German Crowdfunding Network, the Spanish Crowdfunding Association, Crowdfunding Hub (Dutch), AISCRIS (Italy), the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance, the UK Crowdfunding Association, the P2P Finance Association, the European Crowdfunding Network, the European Equity Crowdfunding Association as well as the P2P Banking.com.

All crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other alternative financing platforms that are currently operating in Europe can take this benchmarking survey. All participating platforms will be prominently acknowledged in the 108439_crowdfundinsidercopybenchmarking report with logo display and listing in the European Alternative Finance Platform Directory.

Crowdfund Insider, as the media partner for this benchmarking research, will conduct a series of exclusive in-depth interviews with thought leaders and industry pioneers from the participating associations over the next few weeks.

To pique your interest further, below please find insight from the exclusive trailblazing interviewees participating in this nascent research: 

Ronald Kleverlaan“The CrowdfundingHub is proud to be the Dutch & Belgium research partner for the Cambridge-EY European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Research. For European and national policy decisions on alternative finance, it is important to have detailed data available about the current size and growth of the crowdfunding industry.” Ronald Kleverlaan, Crowdfunding Hub.  Executive Board Member European Crowdfunding Network

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