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Unpeel the layers of trust! A comparative analysis of crowdfunding platforms and what they do to generate trust

Valeria Ferreira, Eleni Papaoikonomou and Antonio Terceño

Business Horizons, 2022, vol. 65, issue 1, 7-19

Abstract: Crowdfunding can prove to be a crucial alternative financing method, especially for microentrepreneurs, new ventures, and nonprofit associations. But trust needs to be built before prospective users decide to use crowdfunding, and we still lack an in-depth understanding of how crowdfunding platforms make users trust them. We analyzed 50 crowdfunding platforms of different types, from investment and lending platforms to reward and donation platforms. Within the sample, we included successful and consolidated platforms, such as Kickstarter, Crowdcube, and Indiegogo, as well as lesser-known and less active platforms, such as Crowdence, Zank, and Fundeen. A comparative analysis of these platforms reveals a diversity of organizational practices that aim to generate trust on four levels: trust toward the platform, toward the project, toward the users, and toward the notion of crowdfunding overall. We suggest guidelines for best practices for crowdfunding platforms and a checklist of points for prospective users searching for the right crowdfunding platform.

Keywords: Crowdfunding; User trust; Entrepreneurship; Cybersecurity; Reputation management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2021.08.004

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