Small Knot is a funding opportunity for small businesses. The website works much like Kickstarter, by allowing small businesses to post projects. The project must be geared toward growth. The site states that it does not allow businesses to create a project because they are failing. The business must be thriving and pushing toward growth and expansion. Users can view the business’ current project, which could be anything from a new patio or addition to their existing location or remodeling and equipment upgrades. The user can learn about the business, what it plans to do and view a list of pledge options. Just like Kickstarter, each pledge option includes a reward that the user receives if they pledge the specified dollar amount.Show more screenshots »
Small Knot was founded in October of 2012. The application was intended to give small businesses a new way to get funding. It also presented local consumers with a way to connect with small businesses and be a part of their growth. The application works must like Kickstarter, with a focus on small businesses. Although the concept may not be original, Small Knot has drawn attention because it applies the idea in a new way.
The main difference between Small Knot and Kickstarter or any other funding platform is the focus on the small business. The website doesn’t let just any project be posted. The business must be pushing for growth and currently surviving. The intention is to help the business expand and fortify itself to become an important contributor to the local community. The site currently lists a number of projects in Greenville, South Carolina and New York City.
Small Knot has an elegant, classy feel to it that begins by greeting the user with a rich background that feels like a true small business. The interface favors stylish black and white with hints of red throughout. The layout is easy to master but never becomes bland or repetitive. Even though Small Knot utilizes a design that is very similar to Kickstarter, it still manages to capture its own tone and atmosphere to provide users with a different experience.
A new user can join the Small Knot community by clicking the black “Sign Up” link in the upper, right corner of the page. The form on the next page includes a blue button at the top for users who prefer to sign up with a Facebook account. Everyone else can provide their email address and a password in the spaces provided below the button. The user is automatically logged in and can begin exploring the site.
Small Knot offers free access to anyone who wants to sign up. Visitors can explore current projects without an account. An account must be created to begin funding projects. Users are not charged any fees for creating an account or backing a business (aside from the amount they pledge). The site doesn’t list any transaction fees on the small business’ side of the project however it is probably safe to assume that something is probably deducted if the project is funded.
Small Knot is a great resource for two groups of users: the small business that needs funding and the local community members who prefer to support small businesses. The application is primarily focused in New York with some projects in South Carolina. Some pledge rewards can be mailed, so users outside of the area could pledge funds if they wanted to. The site notes that it plans to expand across the nation so non-New York residents should check back later to see if a project has been added in their area.