At The Story Exchange, we celebrate and collaborate with women business owners from all over the planet. So in that spirit, we’re highlighting crowdfunding campaigns from women who are making strides and an impact in Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Thailand and elsewhere. Explore their world of work with us!

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. ‘Radical Grandmas’ from Thailand (via Indiegogo)

The Business: In the small mountain village of Na Nong Bong in Thailand, a group of local matriarchs has banded together to fight ecological and economic damage caused by a gold mine built near their homes. To fund their ongoing activism efforts and bring much-needed money into the community, they have begun making and selling scarves as the Radical Grandma Collective. They have also allied with a group of American students, including campaign organizer Mariko Powers, to help them to break into the international marketplace.
The Money: The campaign has already met and exceeded its goal of $3,500. Within the next 18 days, Powers and the rest of the team hope to add as much as possible to their total funds, which they will put toward startup and shipping costs, as well as website development.

2. Pastries from Puerto Rico (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Lucía Merino and co-founder Johan Villafañe are combining their years of culinary experience and opening Lucía Patisserie, a cafe and catering operation that will serve Miramar, in Puerto Rico. At present, the duo cooks out of a commercial kitchen space. But growing demand for their pastries means they need a space of their own where they can better manage the influx of orders.
The Money: By or before April 16, Merino and Villafañe hope to raise at least $21,500. With those funds, they will prepare and stock a space that they hope will be open to the public this summer.

3. Photography from the Former Soviet Union (via Kickstarter)

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The Business: “Soviet architecture often conjures up images of monolithic building blocks, but the era’s sanatoriums are among the most diverse and experimental structures of that time,” says Maryam Omidi, the woman behind an effort to document these unique architectural feats in a photography book. Used as vacation havens where Soviet workers would rest and recharge, these spaces feature grand and unique landscapes and architectural features. Omidi is working with Fuel, a London-based design and publishing group, to put together her book.
The Money: Omidi hopes to raise at least $21,857 through her campaign, money that would be used to pay for travel to each sanatorium. In order to be funded, she must cross that threshold before April 20.

4. Elevating Writers from the United States (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Hypertext Magazine may be based in Chicago, but the online offering showcases writers from all over America. Run by a mostly female team of editors, the site has been operating since 2010. More recently, the group opened Hypertext Studio Writing Center to help less-experienced writers find their voices. Now, they are hoping to take their operation to the next level by publishing Hypertext’s first print edition, paying its contributors, and officially becoming a 501(c)(3) organization.
The Money: Before April 20, the team at Hypertext needs to raise at least $15,000. Should they succeed, the money will be put toward print publication costs and contributor payments.

5. Alpaca Clothing from Bolivia (via Indiegogo)

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The Business: A group of women in Bolivia are turning alpaca yarn into an opportunity to sell clothing internationally. Suritayka has its eyes set on the U.S. marketplace as a starting point, and collaborative efforts with local suppliers and artisans are already underway. It’s a long road ahead, but the women believe deeply in the value of what they are doing. “We are passionate about international development, particularly providing fair opportunities to women and disadvantaged people,” Sandra Lazarte of Suritayka says in the campaign. “We believe that our time in this earth is also to contribute positively to the lives of others.”
The Money: Lazarte and others involved set a fundraising goal of $20,000, which they hope to reach within the next two months (though thanks to Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding option, they will receive a portion of whatever money the campaign generates). The funds will be used to build a website and prepare a small first batch of products for sale.

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Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at info@thestoryexchange.org.
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