Running a business is a tough work in today’s competitive atmosphere. The emergence of new tools like digital marketing and social media has made launching a business easier, but it made the grind tougher for startups as well. Women typically have a harder time than men when launching a business but the good thing is that crowdfunding platforms have leveled the playing field for everyone.
Crowdfunding platform Pledge Me Six founder Anna Guenther said that only 4 percent of venture capital was being directed to female-run businesses. She adds that traditional funding methods are not fair for women too. “Statistics and studies around the world show there are definitely barriers against women,” Guenther said.
Things are a lot different when these women run their ideas through crowdfunding platforms though. According to Guenther, half of the entrepreneurs who were seeking funding through her platform had female founders. Furthermore, 40 percent of the companies had female chief executives. Guenther has deduced that by reaching out to a crowd instead of a single institution, women had better chances of success.
The platform has raised nearly $1 million through three rounds of equity funding since 2014. In total, the platform has raised $28 million.
There are also specific crowdfunding platforms geared towards supporting women entrepreneurs. One of which is iFundWomen. The platform not only provides a portal to raise funds but it also empowers women entrepreneurs through affordable fees and fast processing.
What women should do when launching a campaign
Women are already using the potential of crowdfunding platforms to their heart’s content but of course, they should take a few tips before making any massive steps, says Forbes.
To begin with, women entrepreneurs should already have a following before starting a campaign. The startup phase begins at the creation of the idea and both male and female entrepreneurs could use this to create a small group of supporters. This could come in the form of friends and family who could help spread the word about the idea too.
Women entrepreneurs can shine the most in telling the story behind their idea though. Donna M. De Carolis, dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University, says that women can bring “authenticity, transparency, our connection with emotion,” using their stories. Women tend to be better conversationalists than men so they are able to better connect with the audience.
Aside from a woman’s innate ability to connect with people, female entrepreneurs should approach crowdfunding in the same way that men do. They must seek the proper platform for them, they must get professional help, and most importantly, they must understand the competition and the audience they are courting.
Crowdfunding platforms not only offer opportunity, but they also offer transparency. It is this transparency that makes the startup industry better for women who have great ideas to push forward. With Guenther’s data in mind, women entrepreneurs should no longer be discouraged to launch what they believe to be the next big business.
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