"The European Crowdfunding Network has published a whitepaper explaining the state of crowdfunding regulation in the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany. The document explores how all four countries are simultaneously taking their own unique approaches to implementing crowdfunding while clearly learning from one another as they do so.
… only 30% of businesses are using bank loans while some 40% rely on short-term bank credit or overdraft facilities. On the investment side, venture capital, according to industry statistics, invests in less than 5,000 high-growth businesses a year and business angels in around 1,000. Of the millions of SMEs that are not accessing this formal supply of finance, some will be able to benefit from organic growth and profitability, others will be able to smooth income fluctuations – which are normal in seasonal businesses – through supplier credits or factoring, for example.
As a result, a very large number of SMEs, maybe as many as 10 million, rely on their own wealth, their family, friends and fans to invest in growth, support them through economic difficulties or help to purchase new equipment, finance stock and other operational needs. Crowdfunding is proposing to formalise this part of the financial services sector, to make it transparent and therefore accessible, and to combine it with aspects of cocreation and collaborative open innovation." (http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2013/06/17310-equity-crowdfunding-in-europe-where-it-stands/)
Source: Regulation of Crowdfunding in Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy and the Impact of the European Single Market