By Kerry Patton
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Crowdfunding, it’s a social phenomenon making serious headway these days. Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, and Rockethub rank top in the list of crowdfunding sites, according to Forbes. But, is the concept truly viable for economic growth?
Depending on one’s interests, crowdfunding can be incredibly useful. Many micro-budget films and documentaries are being funded through crowdfunding along with an array of other artistic endeavors. Without crowdfunding, reaching artistic goals in creating specific products can be incredibly difficult if not almost impossible.
I personally have used Kickstarter recently to acquire $10k for a documentary meant to showcase some of the struggles, but more importantly, the successes from America’s veteran community. The team I worked with actually exceeded our goal and raised $3k more than planned. We were lucky.
Crowdfunding does more than assist the arts. Some businesses are getting started through the concept and for many, it works incredibly well. Just ask the guys from the apparel company Ranger Up, recognized by Internet Retailer as one of the Hot 100 e-commerce firms in the United States.
Last year, Ranger Up invested more than $100k into what they refer to as their “veteranpreneurship” program. It’s a program where the company finds a veteran wishing to create a small business of their own.
The first veteran to enter Ranger Up’s “veteranpreneurship” was a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps by name of John Walsh. He spent one fully paid year working alongside the Ranger Up team learning all facets of the business so he could eventually create his own company. Today, John Walsh owns Five Rings MMA in Jacksonville, NC.
According to Ranger Up’s PRWeb release, Walsh applauds everything Ranger Up did for him and his new company.
“I had a hundred percent drive and zero percent direction,” said Walsh of himself once he left active duty military service and began thinking about starting his own company. “Ranger Up took me start to finish and taught me how to run a business successfully from bookkeeping to operations.” (PRWeb)
What Ranger Up had done was more than just take a fellow veteran under their wings. They helped boost the economy. By assisting John Walsh in his desires to start a new company, both entities were capable in employing persons seeking work. That alone is an economy booster.
Unfortunately, Ranger Up does not have the funds to continue with this “veteranpreneurship” concept so with full appreciation and understanding of crowdfunding, they launched a campaign on Indiegogo called Operation Ranger Up.
Seeking a minimum of $50k, Ranger Up is half way to reaching their crowdfunding goals with only nine days left in their campaign. It is a campaign meant to promote veteran owned and operated small business—a campaign that can actually assist America’s economy.
Veteran employment is dismal at best. According the last December’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the national unemployment average was 6.7% yet the post 9-11 veteran unemployment rate was 7.3%. It is apparent that veterans still need a lot of assistance to meet the national unemployment average.
Ranger Up is doing their best to employ as many veterans as humanly possible. But they are doing even more than that. The company is trying to help other veterans in creating their own companies through their “veteranpreneurship” program.
If you are a veteran wishing to start your own small business yet simply just don’t know where or how to begin, get a hold of the Ranger Up team as they will soon begin searching for their next veteranpreneur—well, so long as they reach their $50k Indiegogo campaign goals.
Kerry Patton is a combat veteran and author of Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors