I don’t have an answer to this question. I would love it if some of our international readers can debate this in the comments section. It's an important question for crowdfunding websites when making plans for international expansion, but it’s also a really interesting question in general. Is crowdfunding cultural? Would it work as well in China as it does in the U.S.? Are the Latin countries of the Mediterranean as open to the concept as their Anglo-Saxon neighbors? Do countries that celebrate individualism crowdfund better than those that celebrate the group? Or is it the other way around?
I had the chance to live in France for quite some time. Above all the cultural differences between France & the U.S. (food and fashion to name a few), there is one that always stood out: relationship with money. They just don’t see it the same way we do here in the U.S. They don’t live on credit and their discretionary spending is far lower than ours. They buy what they can afford and save for their futures (this is a gross exaggeration, but you get my point).
When I tell friends in France what I do for a living, the response is usually skepticism and confusion. I know what you’re thinking: the French are always skeptical and confused (and you’d be right). But, the question I usually get in France is: “Why should I give money to someone else? Why is this my problem?”
In France, as in many other Western European countries, the Government plays a large role in public life. The expectation is that one has paid one’s dues to society once one has paid taxes. The idea of secondary financial exchanges where citizens fund other citizens is not something that resonates as easily in their culture.
Need funding for your new play? Get a government grant. Need a to build a business? Go take out a loan or see if the government is investing. But it sure isn’t my problem.
To be fair, there is a crowdfunding platform based in Paris that is doing quite well called Ulule and I’m pretty sure that in time cultural sensitivities can and will change. But my question remains. Are there certain cultures that are just more adapted to the crowdfunding mindset? I pose this to you and I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in different parts of the world.