I assume you’ve read the news that says women don’t have access to money in the same way that men do and women have a much harder time when they are fundraising. I’m here to tell you that it is not all bad news, ladies. There is one fundraising avenue where being a woman actually benefits you and that is crowdfunding. What is crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is a way to raise money for your business by getting many small contributions from lots of people. Rewards-based crowdfunding enables budding or established entrepreneurs to take their businesses to market across the world without having to give away equity in your company or go into debt bootstrapping. We believe that after bootstrapping, crowdfunding should be the first stop on the funding journey for any entrepreneur.
In a recent study performed by PriceWaterHouse Cooper in partnership with the Crowdfunding Center, data showed that when women launch crowdfunding campaigns, they are 32% more likely to reach their goal than men.
How great is that?
It is challenging for women to raise money in almost every other sector but crowdfunding allows women to enter the market directly without having to go into debt or give away equity in their companies. Seed crowdfunding removes the barriers of entry that still exist and can open up doors to women that were never previously open.
Why are women better at crowdfunding? Women are great storytellers and crowdfunding is essentially about sharing your story with others and convincing them to support you on your journey. Crowdfunding allows you to be your authentic self and convince people, people that you know and want to see you succeed, why they should give you $10, $20 or $100 for your brilliant idea. People inherently want to help, but they want to do it on their financial terms. Crowdfunding enables that by encouraging lots of people to give smaller amounts of money. It allows you to tap into all of the people in your network - your family, your roommates, your camp friends, your high school friends - and invite them to be a part of your business. People invest in people, not ideas, and crowdfunding helps you to rally this group of people we all have in our lives to support our business.
We launched iFundWomen in November of 2016 after doing a crowdfunding campaign ourselves. When we launched our campaign, we thought that all of these magical money elves would support our campaign. Unfortunately, that was not the case and the majority of our backers came from people that we knew. We successfully reached our goal but it was hard work every day and we learned so much information. After our campaign ended, we wanted to be able to financially support other female-led crowdfunding campaigns and share our learnings with them. There was no easy way to search for women-entrepreneurs on the big platforms - so we created our own platform with the mission of coaching female entrepreneurs through their campaigns.
asking for money will never be easy but unfortunately, it is essential in growing most businesses.
iFundWomen is a crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses, startups and small businesses, founded by a former Google/YouTube executive, Karen Cahn. The platform uniquely offers one-on-one crowdfunding coaching and video-production services to entrepreneurs. iFundWomen also has a pay-it-forward model and directly reinvests 20% of its standard fees into live projects on the site.
We work every day to remove the funding gap by building up women’s confidence, coaching them on their campaigns, creating a community of same stage female entrepreneurs and sharing success stories of women who have been funded. Asking for money will never be easy but unfortunately, it is essential in growing most businesses. It’s best to begin your fundraising journey in a space that gives you a better chance of being successful.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Anderson is the Operations Director at iFundWomen.
iFundWomen is a crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses, startups and small businesses, founded by a former Google/YouTube executive, Karen Cahn.