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股权众筹成与否 还看如何应对企业倒闭潮

失败算是商业的老生常谈了。要想成为成功的企业领袖,适当的失败应该算是必经之路。

毫无疑问,失败对于创业者而言可能是风险最大但同时又最有价值的教训。但最终的价值大小还是取决于你如何应对这次失败,如何汲取教训。毕竟反复犯同样的错误不是一件让人觉得光鲜亮丽的事情。

随着越来越多的企业和投资人开始关注和采用股权众筹,相关企业破产的情况也会越发常见,投资人可能要眼睁睁看着其自己的这种有价证券投资遭受重创。这将给热衷于此的公司带来一些根本性问题,投资人狂甩现金,管理者却耐心地袖手旁观。然而,这也不尽然是坏事。

IoD对此大声疾呼,希望可以制造便利以让更多人在英国创业环境中押上一注,进而创建一个“证券经济体”。2015年,仅在Crowdcude平台上就有11.6万人投资,由此可见这一行业的发展速度之快。因此在2016年,通过众筹平台参与投资的用户量很有可能再翻一倍。虽然更多的资金投入有利于企业集资,但这也会把更多的人卷入赔钱和破产的风险中。

如果事态真的发展至此,对于目前这个刚刚起步的行业将意味着什么?人们的第一反应应该是立刻采取管制措施限制可集资的企业类型、可投资的人群以及现金投资额度。加拿大便采取了这样的措施,政府出台了一系列奇怪的管制条例,包括投资额度、时间限制和投资人最低收入以及居住地等相关要求。尽管这或许能够极大地保护投资者的资金,但是我们还是不应该鼓励类似这种做法。毕竟,我们不会对人们可在Newmarket 14.05下注额度加以限制,因为这是一种风险更大的尝试。

如果管理者也无计可施,那么今年的大股灾于更宽泛的行业而言也算是好事。IoD 99名成员中有38%(均不到40岁)表示在接下来的10年里,股权众筹将会是他们重要的资金来源。越来越多的企业开始将其成功依托于市场,而且有越来越多的小额投资人开始在创业圈内获取经济利益。众所周知的失败案例以及随之而来的监管将有助于确保企业和投资人擦亮眼睛制定决策。

实际上,你可以提出自己的观点:不遭遇坎坷和挫折,股权众筹要经历更大的风险才能在泡沫经济中找到自己的路。我们真正需要的是具有自我修复功能的市场。正如创业家们所知道的,逐步灌输法制性的关键还在于个人、行业和市场如何应对失败。

过去我们的资产主要依赖于固定资产,如今这种结构正在逐渐发生转变。英国正处于在大规模所有权转让的风口浪尖。股权众筹对于解锁持有股票和股票经济十分重要。弄清楚在出现问题时当做什么、不当做什么才是这场战役的关键。

The importance of failure is the oldest entrepreneurial cliché around. Going bust is idolised as a rite of passage for wannabe business leaders.

Nobody doubts that failure can be one of the steepest, sharpest and most valuable learning curves for an entrepreneur. But it all depends on how you deal with it and the lessons that are learnt. There is nothing glamorous about repeating the same mistakes over and over.

As the number of businesses and investors using equity crowdfunding providers continues to balloon, high-profile failures will become more common and some investors will see their portfolios take a hit. This will raise searching questions for the firms flocking to them, the investors pumping cash into them, and the regulators who have stood patiently on the sidelines. However, it need not be all bad.

The IoD has called loudly for it to be made easier for more people to take a stake in the UK’s startup scene and build an “equity economy”. Last year, 116,000 people invested through Crowdcube alone and, given how rapidly the industry is developing, there is no reason that there could not be twice as many in 2016. But more money and more investors, while good for firms raising capital, will expose more people to the risk of a business collapsing and investments being lost.

If this does happen, what will it mean for an industry which has so far had little but positive attention? The knee-jerk response will be to regulate to restrict the kinds of businesses which can raise money, the type of people who can invest in them, or to put cash limits on the size of investments. This is the model in Canada, where there is a bizarre array of regulations including investment caps, time-limits, and minimum income rules for investors along with residency requirements. As tempting as it may be to protect “dumb money” from heavy losses, this must be resisted. After all, we don’t limit how much people can wager on the 14.05 at Newmarket – a much riskier endeavour.

If the regulators are kept at bay, some big-name catastrophes could be good news for the wider industry this year. Thirty-eight per cent of IoD 99 members – entrepreneurs under the age of 40 – say equity crowdfunding will be an important source of finance for them over the next decade. With more firms than ever relying on the markets for their success, and more small-time investors taking a financial interest in the startup scene, high-profile failures, and the scrutiny they will bring, will help make sure companies – and investors – go in with their eyes open.

In fact, you could make the argument that, without a few bumps along the road, equity crowdfunding is in much bigger danger of finding itself in bubble territory. The market providing its own corrections is what needs to happen. As entrepreneurs know, how individuals, industries and markets deal with failure can instil legitimacy.

The UK is on the cusp of a massive transformation in ownership, as we move away from a system of personal wealth based almost entirely on property. Equity crowdfunding will play a vital role in unlocking the share-owning, equity economy. Knowing what to do – and not to do – when things go wrong is a vital part of that journey.


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