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EMAC 2022 Annual

Consumer Engagement in Sustainable Initiatives through Crowdfunding

Published: May 24, 2022


Natalia Maehle, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences; Pia Piroschka Otte, Ruralis - Institute for Rural and Regional Research


Despite recent interest towards sustainability, sustainable projects still lack financial resources. Engaging consumers in sustainable initiatives through crowdfunding – funding from a potentially large number of interested backers, where each backer provides a fairly small amount of money – can provide a potential alternative for their realization. Based on a large-scale investigation involving various actors (e.g., consumers, farmers, crowdfunding platforms), the current study proposes a business model concept for sustainable crowdfunding in agriculture. The concept encompasses five dimensions: type of crowdfunding, additional financing, collaboration, intermediary organization, and backers. This study contributes to the literature on sustainable crowdfunding and provides more understanding of how to engage consumers in supporting sustainable initiatives. It also has important practical implications as the proposed business model concept is ready to test and implement in practice.