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.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.