Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Want to start your own business? This crowdfunding platform is for women only

iStock_83104079_MEDIUM.jpg

We all know, too well, that the gender pay gap is still alive and kicking. But did you also know that there’s currently an investment and funding gap wreaking havoc on female-led businesses, too?

When it comes to the difference in financial support available for men and women launching a new venture, research shows that men are at least 86% more likely to secure venture capital funding, and 59% more likely to land an angel investor.

Despite the number of women setting up up their own companies rapidly climbing, most are reportedly doing it with 50% less capital than men, and considerably less help, too.

Woman setting up her own business

While all of that may be somewhat deflating for the female entrepreneur, there is good news; crowdfunding, and its far more democratic approach to raising cash, appears to be an arena where women dominate.

It’s for this reason, fuelled by all of the above, that a new crowdfunding platform has launched, with a specific focus on helping women secure the funds they need to get their startups off the ground.


Read more: The power of crowdfunding: how to launch your own start-up


Hailing from the States, iFundWomen has been launched by Karen Cahn and her all-female team, with a ‘pay it forward’ mentality at the core.

“There is such a massive funding gap for women in venture. It’s a little-known fact that women only get about 2 to 6 percent of venture dollars,” she tells The Cut. “We knew we had to do something about that.”

Woman setting up her own business

Despite a recent study finding that 41% of the most successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns are, in fact, led by women, Cahn believes that this alone isn’t enough to change the game for female entrepreneurs.

“We need coaching, we need video-production services, we need a community, we need women encouraging other women. So many of us don’t have access to Silicon Valley VCs and the white dudes who run the show,” she says.


Read more: How to launch a dream business while working full time, by the women who did it


“Before you submit your application [for funding on iFundWomen] we will get on the phone with you and talk about where you are, what your business is, what you’re trying to do,” she adds, noting that this is all about giving women a complete, and genuinely helpful, service.

“We want it to be a process where we really care. And we want to make sure we’re elevating qualified entrepreneurs.”

As with most other crowdfunding platforms, Cahn’s venture still takes a 5% cut. But an innovative business model means that 20% of all profits are pushed back into efforts to ‘pay it all forward’.


Read more: Three signs you should leave your job and work for yourself


“We directly reinvest 20% of our fees into live campaigns on the site,” she explains.

“We wrote a simple algorithm that predicts if a crowdfunding campaign is going to be successful or not, and we’re going to invest money into the ones that are close enough to make it.

“We want to put these projects over the edge.”

For information on what crowdfunding could do for your business, visit ifundwomen.com.

Images: iStock

Related

iceland best place women.jpg

The best countries for gender equality in 2016 have been named

rexfeatures_6323422ga.jpg

Setting up your own business? Reese Witherspoon has some advice

rexfeatures_5669034u.jpg

Taylor Swift has been crowned the highest paid female singer of 2016

Comments

Latest...

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

How hot does it have to get before you can legally go home from work?

As temperatures climb, it’s time to talk about your rights

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jun 2017

Are you self-employed? These newsletters will help your business bloom

On-point emails packed with entrepreneurial tips

by Anna Brech
15 Jun 2017

How changing your name on your CV can boost career success

No deed poll required

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

This nanny job pays £50,000 – but you have to live in a haunted house

So… do you see dead people?

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

Annie Mac nails why maternity leave can be so difficult for many women

“It’s always weird when someone else does your job”

12 Jun 2017

The surprising way being friends with co-workers affects your career

Work wives, assemble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Jun 2017

Laptop with a view: how getting closer to nature fuels creativity

Fire up your imagination by heading outdoors

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Borrow Amazon’s ‘pizza rule’ for more productive meetings

Napkins at the ready...

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Women doing ‘men's work’: striking images smash gender clichés

Photographer wants his two-year-old girl to know there are no limits

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017