The European Centre for Alternative Finance (ECAF) is a research centre within Utrecht University. It has a central role in guiding the international research agenda on alternative finance, supporting financial inclusion and access to finance. ECAF is a joint initiative of Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.), CrowdfundingHub and Sustainable Finance Lab.
Collaboration with the Foundation for SMEs Financing
Stichting MKB Financiering (Foundation for SMEs Financing) is in corporation with the European Center for Alternative Finance (ECAF). These two organisations are raising awareness for alternative finance and making the sector more professional. Under the direction of Ronald Kleverlaan, ECAF is working to achieve these goals.
The Foundation aims to represent all professional parties and financiers contributing to the financing of small and medium sized enterprises that can and are willing to follow the code of conduct, which includes strong self-regulation and respecting others interests. In the coming months the organisation keep up the dialog between the different stakeholders to maintain a sustainable growth of the sector.
The Foundation originated as an initiative of 10 market parties representing different types of the alternative finance sphere. Over the past six months this core group of businesses including Boozt24, Collin Crowdfund, Dynamic Credit, Fiduciam, Funding Circle, Fund IQ, Lendix, NPEX, Voldaan and Spotcap, working together with the Ministerie van EZK (Ministry of economic affairs), to develop a code of conduct and agreements with trade associations.
Network and public awareness
ECAF brings together a network of practitioners, academics, regulators, crowdfunding/P2P associations, policy makers and other stakeholders. At the same time, ECAF will organize academic and industry conferences and workshops, regular roundtable discussions, and will establish an advisory board of selected key representatives from stakeholder groups. ECAF aims at publishing leading industry reports, organising events with mayor stakeholders and providing policy recommendations based on solid academic research performed using high-quality data.
Regulation of Fintech
Members of the European Centre for Alternative Finance have contributed to the DNB/AFM InnovationHub to shape the future of Fintech regulation.
Input for Dutch crowdfunding legislation
The European Centre for Alternative Finance responded to a call for input on future crowdfunding legislation (peer-to-business lending) by the Ministry of Finance.