Kenya’s GrowMyHustle.com is a new online crowdfunding platform that aims to help youths in the creative arts industry to raise money for their dream projects in return for non-monetary rewards to backers.

Like Kickstarter, the site allows users to post their projects online and ask their friends, family and the public to back them with whatever amount they are willing to. Most of the projects in the site will be books, plays, music, poetry projects and anything in the creative arts industry.

According to Clement Obonyo, a co-founder, “Africans have been crowd-funding since time immemorial. Now we’re just formalizing it in a way that fits the digital space we’re in right now. That’s all. This is nothing new.” “GrowMyHustle understands that creative entrepreneurs have solid fans who resonate with their work. Rather than a shadow investor who does not understand or connect with a creative entrepreneurs’ work.”

After liking and contributing to one’s project, GrowMyHustle releases the money contributed to the project in installments according to specific milestones outlined by the project-creator.

“In the case the money raised does not reach the target the money is returned back to the contributors,” says Obonyo. “These ensures that all those who contributed to the project receive the rewards they were promised by the project-creator based on the amounts they contributed.

Grow My Hustle was launched in 2017 from a need to develop alternative financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and generally anyone with a project they would like to benefit from.

The startups main aim is to create a platform where everyone can have the opportunity to pursue their goals, dreams and ambitions without searching for finances though traditional sources of funding like family, friends and banking institutions.

The platform works simply. A user open an account, selects a project to contribute to, builds their portfolio by supporting a range of projects then starts receiving rewards from the projects they invest in. To start your own project/ business, a project creator signs up for an account, submits their project pitch at the “start project” section then wait for feedback from the team. Once a project is approved, the creator can go ahead to provide more information about the project and wait for backers.

“You set up your account then tell the audience what your project is about, all the milestones you intend to achieve, set a timeline and a specific amount that you intend to raise. If your project reaches or exceeds the amount targeted, the fund-raising stage is deemed successful,” says Obonyo adding that the funds will be released according to milestones and rewards outlined in the pitch.

The team comprise of Clement Obonyo, Martie Mtange and Joan Marwa.