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Fabulous Funding: The Art of Crowdfunding
Starting and running a business can be challenging, especially when it comes to securing financing. If you are a woman, this challenge increases tenfold. Women entrepreneurs, in particular, face many obstacles when it comes to accessing capital. According to a report by the National Women’s Business Council, women-owned businesses receive only 16% of conventional small business loans, despite representing 42% of all businesses.
In most areas of life, women face stereotypes and gender-based assumptions. In funding, this is maximized, as women battle against stereotypes and unfair double standards that exist in the world of business. Standards intended to keep them, and their profits, small. Female entrepreneurs face specific problems and false beliefs, such as the belief that women do not know how to manage money or the idea that women do not make good leaders. Most prevalent is the idea that women are too emotional and unpredictable.
It’s important that female business owners know about the funding options available to them, including crowdfunding.
Unlike SBA loans, one does not have to qualify for crowdfunding. There is no credit check and no need to put up collateral. Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising that involves raising money from a large number of people, in small amounts. Typically, this is done through the internet with the assistance of social media, but the same process applies offline. Crowdfunding campaigns are usually started by individuals or organizations who need funding for a highly-specific project. Grants are competitive and, often, it can take a long time to receive the funds. With crowdfunding, although it still takes time, the outcome is much more controllable.
I’ve been involved in the crowdfunding space since the concept began. Time and time again, I find that crowdfunding is an amazing tool to help women shoot for the stars, achieve their dreams, and reach their business goals without anxiety and fear. As women, we face a host of challenges when getting our ideas off the ground. With crowdfunding, women have a chance to succeed in ways that wouldn’t have been feasible before.
Not only does crowdfunding give women a place to fund their projects, but a place to connect with others who believe in their ideas, who believe in them. When we are starting something new, having people who believe in our ability to make it happen is critical, as mentors and advisers often jump into the mix to share their resources and advice.
Contrary to popular belief, crowdfunding isn’t only for start-ups. It’s for small businesses, new businesses, and even those who have been in business for a while.
Like all things, there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of funding. Angel investors typically invest in high-growth startups. VCs want to invest in high-growth startups in exchange for equity in the company. Crowdfunding is unique in that there is no need to give up equity. Regardless of what you choose, it is essential to do your research and choose the option that is best for you and your business.
I want to make women aware that crowdfunding is an option that is available to them. If you are looking to start doing research about crowdfunding, try these simple tips below.
Simple Tips for Crowdfunding
1. I recommend the Get Crowdfunded Now Podcast on iTunes.
Easy to digest and quick to listen to, the Podcast breaks down real-world examples that anyone can understand in only 15 minutes.
2. Seek out interviews and articles from people who are raising money via crowdfunding.
The key is making sure that these interviews are current, not ones from years ago. Crowdfunding, like many industries, changes rapidly and what worked several years ago will rarely translate to now. Listen to what they say they are doing, take notes, and start to plan.
During my time in the funding space, I’ve seen people win big, but I’ve also watched things crash and burn. If you chose the crowdfunding route, I urge you to take advantage of expert knowledge and mentorship to create a plan to achieve your Fabulous Funding Goals and turn your business dreams into reality.
If you would like to speak with Dr. Wright about your crowdfunding idea, click this link.
About the Author
Name: Dr. Letitia Wright
Professional Title: CEO of Wright Place Studios and Top 100 Crowdfunding Expert in the United States
Bio: Dr. Letitia Wright is a highly-esteemed and notable businesswoman. She is the Executive Producer and host of her nationally syndicated television show Wright Place Television, which is now in its 18th season with the bandwidth expanding over 6.5 million homes each week in Southern California on Direct TV Channel 64.
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