Canada: Crowdfunding For Beginners – New Book

Last Updated: October 22 2014
Article by Brian P. Koscak

How to Raise Money for Start-Ups, Early Stage Enterprises, Charities and Non-Profits

Late this summer, a new crowdfunding book was released by serial author Iain Williamson of Incorporated. I have read the book and find it an interesting and easy-to-read book of about 156 pages on crowdfunding for beginners. It is perfect for those who are just wading into the subject and want a simple book that looks at equity and non-equity crowdfunding from a global perspective including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

I have the privilege of asking author Iain Williamson a few questions about his new book which covers the current 'state of play' so readers can quickly get a grasp on what's in it for them.

Q. 1 Why did you write the book?

Actually, I did not just wake up one day and want to write a book about crowdfunding. For over 20 years, I have been writing a whole series of books on small business financing in Canada which I update every year. In certain chapters in different books I found myself writing about crowdfunding, For example, I wrote about debt crowdfunding in my book on bank and debt financing and equity-crowdfunding in my books on raising venture capital and going public. However, I came to realize that my writing was a little superficial. So, I decided to take the bull by the horns and delve into the subject in more detail. Once I did that, I realized that I had enough material for a stand-alone book on crowdfunding.

Q.2 What makes you qualified to write about crowdfunding?

Well, there are no university degrees on crowdfunding; at least not yet! Actually, I worked as a financial analyst in the stockbrokerage business for five years so I guess that's where I acquired the skills to pick companies apart to see how they tick. In essence, I used the same approach in trying to get a handle on the concept of crowdfunding.

Q.3 Obviously, isn't your name, so why the pseudonym?

Good question! I had incorporated the business name quite a long time ago, even before the dot com bubble burst. I thought it was a great name for titles dealing with the digital age; a little like the Dummies series of books but more focussed. Also, it gives me a certain amount of anonymity so I can say nasty things about groups of people I don't like without them spitting in my eye when I walk down the street!

Q.4 In that regard, your book contains some sharp criticism for securities regulators.

You're darned right! They're not at the top of my fan list! Basically, they don't get it! When there was bi-partisan Congressional support for the Jobs Act, everybody was jumping up and down with joy and predicting how many gazillion new jobs could be created when small businesses were able to raise tons of money in a tight credit market dominated by Scrooge bankers. What they forgot to take into account were the boring regulators hiding behind their mountains of red tape and ready to crush any innovative idea that they couldn't get their heads around!

Q.5 Why such harsh comments?

You have to go back to the horrors of the 1929 Stock Market Crash when most investors lost their shirts, pants, underwear and everything else. In the aftermath, the American Government decided that it was time to protect the people from themselves. So, the Securities and Exchange Commission was born some years later and set up rules and regulations which heavily restricted the average Joe's ability to invest in new companies unless he or she had enough assets. The same goes for Canada.

Q.5 So what's wrong with that?

Well, the average Joe was denied, and still is denied, access to the private capital markets which is absurd. Joe can go down to the racetrack and blow his financial brains out on some nag that wasn't fed enough oats that morning and Joe doesn't have to declare his net worth to the bookie before he lays his bet. Likewise, he could go to Vegas and blow his brains out. Moreover, the government will always be all to happy to take his money if he buys a ton of lottery tickets as well. Meanwhile, the poor sod who's got a great business idea can't raise two cents to get his show on the road.

Q.8 Okay, so where does all this lead?

As my book shows, crowdfunding has definitely taken off for charities and there are also some spectacular success stories involving rewards-based crowdfunding. When it comes to personal loans, crowdfunding is showing great promise and it appears to be gaining some traction for raising business debt. In fact, The Lending Club is in the midst of an IPO! The challenge, however, lies with equity-based crowdfunding where shares are sold to the public. The Brits have come up with a way to do it but, for the most part, the U.S. and certain provinces in Canada are bogged down in a quagmire of regulations.

Q.9 Is there a solution?

Absolutely! We have to put some firecrackers under the seats of the regulators and get them to think outside of the box! Now, that's a tall order but it can be done and my book suggests some practical ways to get the show on the road. I encourage people to buy a copy of the book, obviously since I wrote it and it pays the bills, and join the debate!

Q.10 So what topics are covered by the book

The titles of the various chapters are set out below so you have an idea of what the book's about.

Introduction Where Crowdfunding Fits into the Big Picture

Chapter 1 Preparing Yourself for the Equity Crowdfunding Adventure

Chapter 2 Issues You May Encounter When raising Equity-based Crowdfunding

Chapter 3 The U.S. Equity Model for Crowdfunding

Chapter 4 Crowdfunding in Canada

Chapter 5 Crowdfunding in the United Kingdom

Chapter 6 Crowdfunding Down Under

Chapter 7 The Crowdfunding Loan Model

Chapter 8 The Crowdfunding Rewards Model`

Chapter 9 Raising Money for Charities & Non-profits

Chapter 10 The Future of Crowdfunding

Q.11 So how can one order a copy of your book?

That's easy. The book can be purchased securely online at or from our regular site at Both sites are set up for purchases in $CAD using VISA, MasterCard or AMEX.

Americans can purchase from our $USD site at using VISA or MasterCard in $USD.

Purchases can also be made to our order desk toll-free for US and Canada at 1-(877) 879-2669.

The title is also listed on and

Info about the Learn2succeed, myself, the author of the book and Productive Publications can be found by clicking the links at the bottom of the intro page at

Concluding thoughts

Thanks Iain for your candour and for writing a book for investors, companies and others who want a non-lawyer, non-technical book about crowdfunding.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.