Invest in Me: crowdfunding site encourages Papua New Guinean success

Welcome,

Invest In Me is the first crowdfunding platform developed by Papua New Guineans exclusively for Papua New Guineans. It’s the brainchild of entrepreneur Christopher Vagalia, who explains the platform’s purpose to Business Advantage PNG.

The PNG crowdfunding platform Invest In Me launched at the end of June this year.

As an accountant and entrepreneur, Christopher Vagalia had often seen projects fail to get off the ground due to a lack of capital.

His insights served as the inspiration behind Invest In Me, a crowdfunding platform born and bred in PNG.

‘The inspiration behind Invest In Me came in two ways,’ Vagalia tells Business Advantage PNG. ‘First, through my experience as an entrepreneur; the second was because I lost my mother at the beginning of the year due to cancer. Crowdfunding would have provided some relief during that time, as we explored various ways to fundraise.’

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or business venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. It has seen the emergence of major international crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Go Fund Me. But PNG has lacked a platform of its own, until now.

A PNG solution

Christopher Vagalia

One of the biggest hurdles to running a crowdfunding platform in PNG is getting the raised funds to the people seeking it.

‘Our situation is quite different [to more developed nations] because most of the people that come on the platform may not have a bank account,’ says Vagalia, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Tech Organics (PNG) Limited.

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‘What we have done is create a means by which funds are held in trust on their behalf.’

Once a campaigner has achieved their funding goal, they have an option to withdraw from their online ‘wallet’ on the Invest In Me platform by simply nominating the manner in which to receive their funds, either in cash or via a nominated bank account of their choosing.

‘The funds are made available to campaigners, minus administration charges,’ says Vagalia.

‘We are empowering people to run their campaigns in a way that they don’t have to depend on the government.’

Invest In Me has implemented an online resource centre to provide further help to people seeking to raise funds. It also runs a web hosting company, Aringamate Hosting Services, and an online Job Board, X-Kalibre, developed to connect individuals looking for work with potential employers.

Empowering people

The Invest in Me platform has four core areas for fundraising – business, community, emergency and innovation. However, anyone with a good idea or project can launch a campaign, share it on social media and accept donations from around the world in accordance with Invest In Me’s User Policy and Terms of Services.

‘We are trying to empower our people, but Invest In Me is a global platform and as such people from the world over can come forth and run their campaigns as well.’

‘It is a very difficult time for the economy, a lot of people have been hit hard by the challenges raised by COVID-19,’ says Vagalia. ‘We are empowering people to run their campaigns in a way that they don’t have to depend on the government.’

‘We are trying to empower our people, but Invest In Me is a global platform and, as such, people from the world over can come forth and run their campaigns as well.’

To guarantee a solid reach, Vagalia is now looking for partnerships and endorsement from big business. ‘This will give potential investors the confidence to know we are doing the right things,’ he says.

Comments

  1. Nige Kaupa says

    A great initiative! Well done Chris Vagalia.

  2. Willie VARO says

    Way forward. Hats off to Mr Vagalia for such a brilliant idea.

  3. Michael Pate says

    looking forward to leveraging from this platform

  4. Steven Asilala says

    Brilliant. Way forward.

  5. Steven Lavarabin says

    An option that needs implementing, will suit our current situation.

  6. Nancy Yawiro says

    This is brilliant. Best wishes on this.

  7. Awesome

  8. Pngean says

    Good idea

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