By: Oliver St. John
Published: USA Today, May 22, 2013

Photo Credit: FarmStart

More than anything, Rebecca Bloomfield wants her own organic farm. To accomplish this though, in a social media age — without much capital — she has to be something else first: a crowdfunding guru.

Just as she taught herself to grow organic food, she’s also taught herself how to organically raise money for her future farm in Ontario, Canada, via crowdfunding — soliciting donations over social media with a video she hopes will tug on heartstrings and wallets alike.

Even future farmers are turning to crowdfunding for cash. Just like other small-business owners who don’t want to — or can’t — take out a bank loan, there are new options for the social-media savvy. Crowdfunding is quickly becoming the go-to fundraising technique for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. According to crowdsourcing research firm Massolution, a growing 16.9% of the crowdfunding activity, which raised $2.7 billion last year, came from small businesses. If this keeps up, crowdfunding platforms could give even the $28-billion-a-year fundraising capability of the U.S. venture capital industry a run for its money.

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