Whether you are at the beginnign stages of your business or have locked in multiple years, the term crowdfunding should be a key part of your business lingo. Crowdfunding has been a major (and sometimes sole) source of funding for many small business owners attempting to take advantage of the direct to fan social media-based outreach and fundraising in order to reach many people locally and around the world. Forbes.com describes crowdfunding as:
the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet
Over the past 8 years, the need to fund projects and full business have grown tremendously and the typical sources such as bank loans, angel investors and venture capitalist have become difficult to obtain.Crowdfuding platforms have given people the opportunity to inform the public about their amazing idea, project and/or company through a creative, informative and grassroots type of way. The most popular crowdfunign platforms are
- Kickstarter – global crowdfunding platform based in the United States
- GoFundMe – allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses
- Indiegogo – an international crowdfunding web site
- RocketHub – onlinecrowdfunding platform catered to musicians, entrepreneurs, scientists,game developers, philanthropists, filmmakers, photographers, theatre producers/directors, writers, and fashion designers.
These companies tend to bring in millions, yearly, in backers and supporters for those looking to fund their ideas. Crowdfunding has become a new norm for creative types of all genres: photography, fashion, music and entrepreneurship.
So what about women entrepreneurs?
Through a quick google search for women based crowdfunding, sites like PlumAlley and MoolaHoop are in the top two slots. In Asia, Woomentum – a SIngapore based entrepreneur community platform., has launched its crowdfunding platform, Woomentum Fund in Asia.
Mouna Aouri, founder of Woomentum, recently stated that: “In the US, research shows when businesses are run by women, they have double the growth rate than their male counterparts…”
Women leaders are taking over the top spots from male counterparts. In the machismo world, there is a shift because women are uniting to challenge the claim that men are better business leaders. Kathryn Moos, owner of a health drink VROU, ran a campaign that raised $32, 165 on the PlumAlley platform and her drinks are currently sold at the popular store whole foods.
Crowdfunding, like anything else, can be a win situation if planned well. Generally, I would be a little skeptical about asking for help. It conjures up one of those ugly feelings that stems from pride. Yet, sometimes it’s best to ask for support. It boosts passion and sparks drive for more. If we all had our support systems asking for more, production will soar through the roof.
Sometimes we may not want to ask for help because of the feeling of a lone accomplishment or just plain stubbornness. Typically, asking for help isn’t something women nataurally do. But we should. We should ask for help because we cannot all be super women all the time. These platforms were created as a bridge for women leaders to connect with investors. It binds a relationship between the two and brings further validation for the business in question.
These platforms were created for entrepreneurs to take control and build strong relationships while reaching a large audience with your ideas and companies. Do you think you would try a crowdfunding campaign? If no, what are some of your reasons not to? If yes, what are some of reasons?