Business 11 October 2016
If you have ever ventured into the territory of creating a business, you are well aware of the difficulties that come with financing your dreams, especially if you are a woman. As plebeian as it may seem, female entrepreneurs have historically received less funding than similar male-run startups. This bias has made it more difficult for female entrepreneurs to get their companies off the ground and thrive in business.
The world has come a long way from the days where women were housewives and secretaries. Women of today not only hold some of the highest executive positions in the world, but also put extraordinary effort into breaking down the barriers of gender bias.
In this era, women-owned businesses are supported by funding platforms that cater to startups that benefit less from teaming up with investors, and more from appealing directly to consumers. You no longer need to stress over losing out on funding based on gender dynamics; with the increase in popularity of crowdfunding, this bias is dimming – making it easier for women to get the type of funding needed. With all this progress in the world of entrepreneurs, your biggest concern now becomes finding the proper platform to deliver your marketing pitch. Whether you’re looking for loans or donations, the choices are ample.
GoFundMe, the number one crowdfunding site based on traffic, has a reputation for raising over $2 billion for personal fundraisers. If you have a large network of friends, then you would benefit most from this site as most contributors to your cause tend to be family, friends or co-workers. Combine generous friends, a great sales pitch and some serious marketing in your local community and you have a recipe for a successful entrepreneurship. The only setback is its policy of awarding you with your collected funds only if you succeed in raising 100% of your proposed goal. On a brighter note, this unyielding approach is perfect for the entrepreneur that thrives under pressure.
Crowdfunding is an innovation that has changed the game of raising capital.
Known as one of the older crowdfunding sites out there, Indiegogo has changed its funding focus from solely film projects to basically any idea under the sun. While browsing, you may stumble across funding campaigns for college tuition or even some requesting money for high school prom. Yet, regardless of its category or subject matter, you cannot deny Indiegogo’s potential as one of the more successful sites for your financing goals. Indiegogo does not screen its project proposals before acceptance and, while it charges one of the higher fees for not reaching your finance goal (5%), it does offer both fixed and flexible funding options.
As one of the most well-known sites, the name basically speaks for itself. Developed to support creative projects such as art, design and technology, this site brings in opportunities for the starting entrepreneur. Unfortunately, you’ll need more than a business plan to get this sites’ approval since Kickstarter does not exactly fund businesses, but instead accepts product campaigns. Unlike its crowdfunding buddy Indiegogo, Kickstarter has a more vigorous screening process and the approval process can oft times end in rejection. That being said, Kickstarter is still one of the biggest funding platforms open to aspiring professionals in the U.S, U.K and Canada.
Are you aiming to reach big fish investors? If so, then crowdfunding platform EquityNet is the spot for you to begin your funding journey. With its main focus on industries like biotechnology, computer software and manufacturing, this site operates under a unique method that is quite unlike the other platforms. EquityNet uses a subscription service approach where many of the services you’ll be using are free while a few of the others require you to pay that monthly fee of $109.
With all this progress in the world of entrepreneurs, your biggest concern now becomes finding the proper platform to deliver your marketing pitch.
If you are a female entrepreneur full of great ideas for a startup company, now is the time for you to search online for the right crowdfunding platform for your business. Keep in mind that your success depends not only on your great idea, but on a solid pitch, complete statistics, and a well drafted and flawless delivery.
Crowdfunding is an innovation that has changed the game of raising capital but do not expect the process to be easy; the risk will always be high when you approach the subject of funding. Regardless of what platform you choose, make sure you put your best foot forward, because what follows depends on your ability to prepare and provide the necessary tools to jump start your business.
Crowdfunding platforms have assisted over a million startup companies to raise more than $34 billion, collectively.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist