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SEC Poised to Adopt Rules to Allow Small Businesses to Sell Shares Through Crowdfunding

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a set of rules to allow entrepreneurs and start-up companies to sell shares through crowdfunding sites in order to raise money.

If adopted by the SEC, the ruling would allow companies to solicit funding from the public over the Internet. Small businesses would be allowed to raise up to $1 million per year from unaccredited investors (who will also have limits as to how much they can contribute). Currently, private companies can only solicit funding from accredited investors with a net worth of more than $1 million.

Deals will have to be made through funding portals, which will provide protection for investors. Companies selling shares through crowdfunding will have to abide by the fine print, which includes disclosure about the use of the funding, financial statements, and information about officers and directors.

The public has 90 days to review the SEC’s proposal and make comments on it.

In other crowdfunding news, Plum Alley, an e-commerce website that features products created by women, will soon launch a crowdfunding website to raise money for female entrepreneurs, reported the Wall Street Journal. Investors in Plum Alley companies get a free product or experience in return for a contribution, with the value of the return based on the amount contributed.

Crowdfunding sites logged $2.7 billion in 2012.

Sourcebooks’ Raccah Wins Muriel Siebert Entrepreneurial Champion Award

Dominique Raccah, the publisher of Sourcebooks, has won the Muriel Siebert Entrepreneurial Champion award, which honors women who have created an innovative product or service that has global reaches.

Founded by Raccah in 1987, Sourcebooks began as an informational hub for bankers and has grown to become a successful independent publisher with upwards of 40 New York Times bestsellers.

The award recognizes Raccah’s work in propelling Sourcebooks into the technological age with innovative products, including books with CDs, the “Put Me In The Story” app, interactive Shakespeare e-books, and digital book clubs.

Raccah was shortlisted for BISG’s Disruptor Award in 2013, won the 2013 Publishing Innovator of the Year award from Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines, and was acknowledged as a female influence on Chicago’s business community with the 2010 Woman of Vision Award.

Consortium Adds Three Publishers to Client List

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution is adding three new publishers to its list of clients.

Auzou, based in Paris, France, publishes children’s books and translates early childhood books, albums and novelty books, and educational books for the North American market. Distribution will begin January 1, 2014.

Stark Raving Group, in Beverly Hills, California, specializes in short e-books (70 to 120 pages), including mysteries, crime fiction, adventure, and thrillers. Distribution begins immediately.

Sweetmeats Press in Toluca Lake, California, produces erotic literature. Distribution will begin January 1, 2014.

Independent Publishers Group Adds 13 Publishers

Independent Publishers Group has added 13 clients to its distribution roster, including The Puzzleworks (distribution began in June), Urim Publications (distribution began in August), and Castle Rock Research (beginning November 1).

Beginning January 1, 2013, IPG will also distribute for the following: Madison Press Books, Inhabit Media, Vinologue, NNK Press (Never Not Knitting Press), Smart Guide Publications, Luminis Books, Caramel Tree Readers, Dream Big Toy Company, Jolly Fish Press, and Monsieur Notebook.

In addition, IPG’s River North Editions, an academic and professional distributing division, is now distributing for the following: Manohar Books, Portal Books, Bertz + Fischer, Hoover Institution Press and Wit University Press. IPG’s Art Stock Books will distribute for A&C Publishing beginning January 1, 2014. Through its Spanish distribution arm, IPG will be distributing Ediciones Corona Borealis titles beginning January 1, 2014.