Each year the World Economic Forum releases its exhaustively researched Global Competitiveness Report, which compares nearly every country in the world across a comprehensive range of indicators in various economic, social, political, educational and other areas. In the 2014-2015 report, out of a total of 144 countries, Slovenia ranked a disappointing 70th overall, and of its many problem areas perhaps the most glaring was its financial market development, where it ranked 125th, 140th and 144th (dead last) in Venture Capital availability, Ease of access to loans and Soundness of banks respectively. Why did we just tell you all of this terribly depressing information? Because as the saying goes, 'necessity is the mother of invention', and there is at least one silver lining for the rather ghastly state of Slovenia's financial sector.
In recent years, a number of mostly young, innovative, entrepreneurial Slovenes (or usually groups thereof) have turned to international crowdfunding websites as a viable means of raising the funding necessary to see their projects realised, and they have had great success doing so. The largest of these platforms is the US-based Kickstarter, which has become so synonymous with the practice of crowdfunding – or raising venture capital via a large number of individual contributors – that its name is now often used as verb to describe the activity, in much the same way an internet search is referred to as 'googling' something.
Below you can find some of the Slovenia-based projects that have been successfully funded to date, and much more information about each of them can be found on their respective Kickstarter pages, websites and social media. If you're in Ljubljana, you can also find a selection of the products for sale at Trgovina Ika on Ciril-Metodov Trg and the recently opened Brands of Friends on Čopova Ulica. And if you're a Slovene who has had a Kickstarter project successfully funded, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can make sure to add your info to the page.