Crowd0 is Launching!

Our Journey to Launching the First Campaign on Crowd0

“As I reflect on our journey, I'm reminded that it's not the failures that define us, but how we respond to them. NextDistrict may not have succeeded in the way we initially intended, but its spirit lives on in Crowd0. Supporting Karen and All is Good has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I hope that we can do the same for many more small businesses.”

Oliver Duffy, Crowd0 Co-founder

The journey of Crowd0 begins in the closing stages of 2022. My co- founder, Amin, and I (Oliver) had spent the better part of that year pouring our hearts into a project that ultimately didn't survive. We were focused on creating a decentralised, sustainably operated business, crowdfunded and governed by individuals who shared our vision (This may sound familiar to you if you have just pledged to All is Good).

We truly believed in our endeavour as it felt like a means to saving the vanishing small businesses we loved, the ones replaced by faceless brands on our high streets. That project ended up becoming a reflection of our values and our drive to have a positive impact in the world. So, when it failed, it hurt.

However, in the aftermath, after a tiny bit of feeling sorry for ourselves, we realised something crucial: the journey had not been in vain. We had met a network of incredible people and learned invaluable lessons about the realities of running a business. Lessons that would guide our future ventures, and significantly, contribute to the birth of Crowd0.

With renewed determination, we returned to the drawing board. The idea of disregarding everything we'd learnt felt like a lost opportunity. We were still committed to making a meaningful difference and so, decided to evolve our initial idea into Crowd0: a platform dedicated to empowering small, purpose-driven businesses to crowdfund directly from their customer community, enabling them to start, expand, or survive.

As we began refining Crowd0 into a viable business, I reached out to several founders I had met during our previous project. One of these connections suggested that I should speak to Rachael from OurPledge. My initial outreach was met with silence, but a follow-up email two months later sparked a conversation that would change everything.

In that conversation, Rachael shared her experience in helping small businesses crowdfund to become more sustainable. Our shared values and aspirations were evident throughout our conversation. Rachael even revealed that she had already registered the web domain for Crowd0.com back in 2016! This serendipity felt like a sign, signalling that we needed to collaborate with Rachael, not only because of her incredible taste in naming crowdfunding platforms, but because she fundamentally understood our mission.

Fast forward two more months. Rachael introduced us to Karen from All is Good, a sustainable refill business based in Penistone. The alignment was instantaneous. Karen's passion for sustainability was infectious, and together, we formulated a plan to crowdfund £18,000 to revamp her refill section. This would allow customers to pledge their support and in return, receive 110% of their pledge value back in store credit, along with other enticing rewards. A pretty compelling offer if you ask me. You can learn more about these rewards here.

This campaign epitomises our belief in the power of community. We firmly believe that given the opportunity, communities will rally around and financially support their beloved local businesses. At Crowd0, we are just facilitating this interaction. Amin and I have been working with Karen in the run up to All is Good's campaign to ensure a seamless pledge and delivery process for Karen and her customers. Our aim is to not only facilitate small businesses fund raising through crowdfunding, but also to support those same businesses with their pre and post crowdfunding needs such as marketing and rewards delivery, crucial components to a successful crowdfunding campaign that is ignored by most platforms.

In Karen and All is Good, we found the perfect embodiment of the kind of enterprise we envisaged supporting when we conceptualised Crowd0. Our shared values around sustainability have made this partnership a joy. We are thrilled to be a part of her journey to expand All is Good's sustainable options, and we are eager to continue championing the power of community to help more businesses thrive.