An interesting and newer form of social media is what is known as crowdfunding. Similar to crowdsourcing—the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by employees or contractors—crowdfunding reaches out to individuals within the online community.
The process is quite simple. Entrepreneurs register and promote his or her concept on a crowdfunding site where investors can look through the opportunities. Once an investor finds a business concept of interest, he or she looks at the business plan, evaluates the risks, and decides whether or not to invest. Many restaurant operators are using this method to launch new locations.
For example, Jon Rubin is an entrepreneur who operates Conflict Kitchen—a quick-service operation that serves food from countries in conflict with the U.S. Rubin actually got his start by going to Kickstarter and raising $4,000. Like Rubin, many of the entrepreneurs utilizing crowdfunding are quick-service operators.
These sites could offer a great opportunity for you to find up-and-coming talent, ideas and even opportunities for additional sales or sponsorship of one of the up-and-comers. A couple other crowdfunding sites to check out are Kiva and ProFounder.