90% of companies who get rejected by a bank for trade finance lending do not seek alternative sources of finance, says Kristine Pontoppidan, crowdfunding expert working with the Danish ministry for business and growth. She sees in this statistic a huge loss of exporting opportunities, and believes in crowdfunding as a way to fill the trade finance gap.

Pontoppidan has been focusing for the past two years on the regulatory set up for crowdfunding in Denmark and in the EU. The efforts to map the challenges and opportunities in the Scandinavian country were summed up in a report published in May 2015, the result of a collaboration between authorities (tax, business, financial, etc.) and the private sector (Danish Chamber of Commerce, Danish Crowdfunding Association and start-ups).

Their work to promote crowdfunding amongst Danish companies is an ongoing effort. A big challenge, she says, is spreading awareness of how crowdfunding works, educating both regulators to create a suitable regulatory environment, and SMEs to understand what the different kinds of crowdfunding are and what to look out for.

GTR caught up with Pontoppidan following the panel “The power of the crowd” at the 9th World Chamber Congress in Turin, and asked her about the state of crowdfunding in Denmark and its relationship with banks.