The University of Cambridge & University of Chicago Join Forces to Launch the 2015 Americas Alte

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth School of Business are jointly launching the 2015 Americas Alternative Finance Benchmarking Survey. This survey will be the first comprehensive and empirical assessment of crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending (marketplace lending) and other forms of alternative finance across North, Central and South America.

According to Robert Wardrop, the Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance:

“The structural changes brought about by the digitization of the finance industry has the potential to flatten the provisioning of finance to both individuals and businesses, around the world. There is wide disparity in the development of alternative finance between countries. We hope this comprehensive benchmarking study will provide us with industry insight which will lead to more informed academic research and evidence-based policy-making.”

The survey is supported by the IDB, BDC, KPMG and a number of highly influential industry research partners. Major alternative finance industry associations and organizations in the United States, Canada and across Central and South America, including the LendIt/Lend Academy, Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA), Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA), National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA), Orchard, Crowdnetic as well as Queen’s University’s and the Impact Group are helping to make this ground-breaking research possible, with Crowdfund Insider as the research media partner. The 2015 Americas Alternative Finance Benchmarking Research will launch on the 15th of October and closes on the 16th of November.

Alternative finance encompasses innovative financial instruments and distributive channels that have emerged outside of the traditional financial system. This industry is experiencing rapid growth in the Americas. The study will assess the activities of equity- and reward-based crowdfunding, peer-to-peer consumer and business lending (i.e. Marketplace Lending) and invoice trading, which are directly connecting lenders to borrowers, raising venture capital for start-ups, funding the creative industries and creating new ways for individuals and institutions to control how and to whom money is distributed, lent and invested.

The University of Cambridge and its research partners have successfully producedhigh-impact benchmarking and industry reports that documented the rise and development of alternative finance in the UK and Continental Europe, however there remains a substantial lack of empirically-based academic research that focuses on the Americas. This study will serve to bridge that gap, and provide reliable and up-to-date market data to inform evidence-based policymaking and regulation.

“We are pleased to be Cambridge University’s Western Hemisphere partner and to contribute to the understanding of this rapidly growing source of liquidity and opportunity,” adds Bob Rosenberg, Chicago Booth School of Business, adjunct faculty and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at the Polsky Center.

The results of the survey will be made available free to the public in the 2015 Americas Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report, due to be published in early 2016. All findings shall be presented in aggregated form either by country, region or alternative financing models and no individual platform/provider’s data will be divulged.

All crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and other alternative finance providers, operating in North, Central and South America, are invited to contribute to the benchmarking survey below. All participating platforms will be prominently acknowledged in the benchmarking report, with their respective logos displayed.

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