The ECSRC-sponsored 18-month project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank’s “Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Network” and includes the following elements:
I: Validation of Draft Crowdfunding Policy Framework developed by the ECSRC
The ECSRC has drafted Rules to govern the operation of crowdfunding platforms and for the participation of investors in Crowdfunding activities in the ECCU member countries. Validation will involve a review of the draft crowdfunding rules developed by the ECSRC, and stakeholder consultations (focus groups) with both public/private sector representatives in the region, to receive feedback on the draft Crowdfunding Rules to improve and/or enhance them, and revision of the Rules based on this feedback.
II. Testing crowdfunding platforms using a regulatory “sandbox” approach
The ECSRC is launching a regulatory sandbox to drive the development of a robust crowdfunding platform for the region. Since equity crowdfunding is a new concept for the ECCU member countries, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) testing of a platform will be critical. The ESCRC will provide authorization for at least two crowdfunding platform prototypes to be tested within a controlled regulatory and supervisory environment, i.e. the sandbox.
This will assist the ECSRC to better understand the operations of the platform and the type of processes and procedures that might need to be implemented in order to protect investors and promote and maintain the integrity of the market. It will also help the ECSRC to obtain and understand any additional requirements that would be needed to enhance the supervision and regulation of this innovative activity in the financial market.
III: Sensitization/Training of Crowdfunding Stakeholders
A series of sensitization and training sessions will be held to educate entrepreneurs, investors, investment advisors and other key groups about equity crowdfunding and equity investment. The goal is to build interest in and demand for equity funding, and support for the crowdfunding platform to be developed.