Arkansas Business News
2:36 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

New Technology Helps Raise Funds For Arkansas Community Projects, Businesses

A new online technology is helping Arkansans fund community projects and local business efforts.

The technology is called crowdsourcing, and it’s a method in which funds for local projects are raised through a large online network of people who want the projects to be successful. Small contributions by many people end up translating into lots of money.

Marianne & Jonathan of Vader View Acres want to raise $3,000 to help purchase to start a poultry processing facility.

Sam Hedges is Director of Operations at the Arkansas Local Food Network, an area organization that’s partnering with the crowdsourcing technology called Kiva Zip.

“The second that I heard crowdsourcing was coming to Little Rock, I was really excited. I think it’s a new and very, very exciting method of loaning and doing micro-loan programs,” say Hedges.

Hedges says already more than 30 local borrowers are raising funds this way for their projects.

“There’s Little Rock Urban Farming. I’m always excited about his work and I’m excited about them getting a loan. Laughing Stock Farms is one of my personal favorites. They are a small, organic farm just south of Little Rock and he’s got a lot of exciting projects on the rise,” says Hedges. 

Kent Walker Artisan Cheese is trying to raise $10,000 to purchase a cheese vat to increase production.

 Other community businesses raising funds through crowdsourcing include Loblolly Creamery in Little Rock, The Green Corner Store on Main Street in Little Rock, Kent Walker Artisan Cheese, and Vader View Acres, a farm in rural Alexander.