Posts Tagged ‘crowd funding’

22 June

Fourth Graders Show America The Way To A Clean Energy Future

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
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I was tickled pink upon seeing this video from the U.S. Department of Energy site. I trust that you will agree that there is hope for our future generations once you’ve seen this video, shared below (italicized text taken from U.S. Department of Energy site):

A group of fourth graders in Durham, North Carolina, are showing America the way to a clean energy future.

After learning all about solar and other energy sources, Aaron Sebens — a teacher at Central Park School for Children — and his fourth grade class came up with a bold idea: make their classroom solar-powered.

The video above documents the students’ journey from idea to reality — leading up to a celebratory party where Aaron and his students officially “flip-the-switch” on their solar-powered classroom. To fund the project, Aaron’s class launched a crowd-funding campaign that garnered support across America and around the world. The students originally hoped to raise $800 but significantly beat expectations — raising more than $5,000.

The promise of solar energy extends far beyond one classroom in Durham. Every day, as the director of the Energy Department’s Solar Program, I get to witness the impact this industry is having across America. As the students’ project shows, solar is taking off as a clean and affordable source of energy. Because of the investments we’ve made as a nation, the solar industry is now one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. The sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace — accounting for nearly half of all new U.S. electricity capacity during the first three months of 2013.

It’s clear we’re making progress in advancing America’s clean energy future, but the students in the video remind us that we have to do more.  At the Energy Department, we’re committed to driving innovations that make America’s abundant solar energy resources more affordable and accessible for Americans.  Let’s continue working together to create opportunities for more businesses, communities and classrooms across the country to tap into this clean, renewable and inexhaustible energy source.

Interested in installing a small solar energy system on your home? Visit our Energy Saver page for tips and guidance. Stay up to date on the Energy Department’s efforts to make solar power cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade by visiting our solar page on Energy.gov.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Be sure to share these links with others so we can all take the step to transition into solar energy future!

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed publicly in the comment area below or privately at sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note in your email if you don’t want the email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net



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11 April

Crowdfunding For Altruism and Investment

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Hi, Friends, Visitor/Viewers/Readers,

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Great news! After a long approval process, Mosaic (formerly Solar Mosaic), a Californian solar startup has received the go-ahead offering US $100 million in projects to Californian investors (for projects in CA), using crowdfunding platform.

Crowd-funding

Mosaic has called this $100 million round of projects in California, the “Golden State Series“. In recent years, crowdfunding has had significant impact on creative industries and various technology projects in USA, with the site Kickstarter being the most prominent. “California has always been a leader in solar energy. We’re thrilled that now any resident of California can invest directly into solar energy for as little as $25,” said Billy Parish, President and Co-founder of Mosaic. The first project released under the new $100 million series of projects has been fully subscribed, raising the $157,750 required in less than six hours. The project is a 114 kW array for the roof of Ronald McDonald House in San Diego. Hip! Hip! Hurray! For Mosaic!

For those of you who are not residents of CA or USA, or with smaller projects in mind (be it in solar, wind, renewable of any kind, energy efficiency, or recycling), despair not…for the Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva has also been utilizing a slightly varied crowdfunding platform since March of 2012 to help entrepreneurs in USA and developing countries to establish small businesses or projects in solar energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and recycling. Thus far, 808 small businesses/projects (valued at $53,075 loaned) had been funded. The first solar loan that Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva helped to fund:Even though there were only about 30 or so members on the team at the time, we were able to gather the support from 1034 lenders from all corners of the planet earth to help fund that solar business.

For better understanding of crowdfunding, please refer to this link–>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_funding

For better understanding of how Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva or how Kiva works, please refer to links below:

  1. How Kiva works:                                          http://www.kiva.org/about/how
  2. How micro-finance works:                           http://www.kiva.org/about/microfinance
  3. List of Kiva Field Partner:                            http://kiva.org/partners
  4. How to become a Field Partner at Kiva:      http://www.kiva.org/partners/info
  5. Risk and Due Dilligence:                              http://www.kiva.org/about/risk

The main distinctions between Mosaic and Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva:

  1. There are greater restrictions for Mosaic investors/lenders (If you reside in a state other than California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, or New York, you may only invest on the Mosaic platform if you are an accredited investor, as defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Whereas any one, any where, may join Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva to lend/help other entrepreneurs (in USA or in developing countries) to establish small businesses/projects in solar energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and recycling.
  2. Mosaic projects are confined to solar projects in CA, whereas Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva may involve projects in solar energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling, anywhere in USA and various developing countries.
  3. Most of the Mosaic lenders/investors are given the promise of  a yield of 4.5% whereas lenders to Kiva in Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva would  receive the great satisfaction of knowing that we are helping our planet Earth to transition into a cleaner, healthier, and less war-proned world. But if you’re  interested in helping to finance these projects at Kiva as an investment, then become a Field Partner at Kiva.

*Personally, I look at altruism as a form of long-term self-interest rather than short-term self-interest. Case in point, empowering another entrepreneur at the other side of the planet to become a solar producer (without expectation of any yield) will ultimately translate into lower CO2 emission into earth’s atmosphere…this will lead to a cleaner and healthier air and more secure planet (less international conflicts) for me as well as for you and our children and future generations to live in/on. To me, this is a very sound investment!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments or suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net

 

 


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1 January

Be Happy Through Kiva-Microfinance/Microfunds for Green or Solar and Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Friends & Readers,

Thank you for your words of support and encouragement.  I promise that I will be bringing forth much more on solar energy in the year 2012.

We are living in such a dynamic period in our human history, with the wind of changes spurred by communication technology and exponential growth of human ideas ready to be tested and challenged.  If Charles Dickens were still alive, I am sure that he would not  hesitate to reuse his famous lines in A Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”

Even though we here in US and planet earth are confronting with much difficult problems, I looked around and see/read/hear that so many conscientious individuals are genuinely interested in helping  others and actively participating in finding solutions to our world’s problems.  I would just like to take the opportunity in sharing a few of these  solutions in this new 2012, hopefully you will find it in your hearts to also reach out to others through these solutions.

The first one I would like to share is Kiva (at kiva.org) .  Kiva Microfunds is an organization that allows people to lend money via the internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries of planet earth and in the United States, which in turn lend the money to small business and students.  It is a 501 non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, supported by loans and donations from its users and through partnerships with businesses and other institutions.  Kiva itself does not charge any interest;the loans made by Kiva members are passed interest-free to the independent field partner indicated for each loan.  These interest rates are disclosed and are discussed in the relevant section on the Kiva website.  Kiva’s lending process,  in wikipedia, is described below:

Kiva allows microfinance institutions around the world, called “Field Partners”, to post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs on its website, www.kiva.org. Lenders browse and choose an entrepreneur they wish to fund. Kiva aggregates loan capital from individual lenders and transfers it to the appropriate Field Partners to disperse to the entrepreneur chosen by the lender. As the entrepreneurs repay their loans, the Field Partners remit funds back to Kiva. As the loan is repaid, the Kiva lenders can withdraw their principal or re-lend it to another entrepreneur.


 
Lenders’ funds are transferred to Kiva through PayPal, which does not collect its usual fees in this case. It is possible to pay by credit card through PayPal’s website, even without a PayPal account, but a PayPal account is needed to withdraw funds. Field Partners charge interest to their borrowers, although Kiva claims to keep track of how much interest is charged and will not work with those charging unfair interest rates. Kiva lenders do not receive any interest because Kiva is not registered with the US Government as a broker. When Kiva began, lenders chose who could borrow their money. Since then, the system has changed, so that loans are disbursed to borrowers before their stories are posted to Kiva‘s website. This is disclosed on Kiva‘s site; each loan proposal states whether funds were pre-disbursed. Thus, lenders‘ loan funds are likely to go to borrowers other than those chosen by the lenders. Whether lenders‘ preferences are used for lender preference trend analysis by any field partners or Kiva is not stated. Kiva‘s response has been to keep pre-disbursing but be clearer about the process.

As of August 12, 2011, Kiva has distributed $233,493,400 in loans from 614,671 lenders. A total of 309,076 loans have been funded. The average loan size is $384.39. Its current repayment rate is 98.79%. According to Alexa, Kiva’s website ranks in the top 15,000 websites on the Internet. The total costs of running Kiva in 2008 totaled $4.7M. During 2008, the user base released about $37M to low-income entrepreneurs listed on the Kiva website. So, for every dollar spent on operations, Kiva lenders sent about $8 for loans.

Now, you might wonder why is Kiva showing up in http://sunisthefuture.net ?  When I first learned of Kiva and contacted the organization to inquire if there is a category for renewable energy, the wonderful Molly Lynch at Kiva informed me that a very small number of green loans (in the form of loans that reduce waste and pollution or in recycling  used materials) had been posted over the years.  But there are so few of them that they are always quickly funded.  Now, here at  Sun Is The Future I would like to be able to help Kiva to have  more entrepreneurs/loans in the category/ATTRIBUTES under Green (in the form of more solar businesses/ entrepreneurs/loans ).  I would like to ask all of you who are reading Sun Is The Future to help in spreading the words of Kiva and sharing different business ideas for solar energy, regardless where you are in/on planet earth.  This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us Earthlings to participate in transitioning into our next stage in history, into the renewable energy age, by helping one another, via microfinancing, to develop various small  businesses needed throughout planet earth in preparation for renewable/solar energy age.  So what if the political structure is too slow to change… so what if the banking industry is difficult to deal with… so what if you are currently unemployed…. So long as you/we do not sit idly by, we can pull our resources and brain powers together to help one another in starting small businesses in solar or renewable energy.  Not only will we be able to help stimulate small business development, but we will be able to help solve problems in energy, pollution, and prevention of wars among nations.  This is an interest not only in developing countries, but in developed countries throughout planet earth.  I urge you all to write me at sunisthefuture@gmail.com with business ideas, products, and questions. I will try to develop the format of a forum shortly. I urge you to go to www.kiva.org with your solar business ideas/plans and become a solar entrepreneur so those  who are interested in helping Green businesses will have opportunity to become Green Lenders. Please check back frequently for more on forum that will be developed shortly.

~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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