Whether it’s by applying make-up, transforming toys or capturing gripping images, the women featured this week are using creative ideas and entrepreneurial spirits to chase very different dreams.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Making a Difference in Makeup (via Indiegogo)

The Business: During her senior year at Drexel University, Amanda Wolfson found a creative outlet in doing makeup for her friends. But she soon noticed a lack of affordable, cruelty-free products in the marketplace, and both she and her friends were frustrated. A lightbulb lit up for Wolfson, who created Baby Bat Beauty, a makeup line that consists solely of handmade products that are certified by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and contain only vegan ingredients.
The Money: To realize her dream of reaching an international market, Wolfson hopes to raise $6,000 to purchase custom packaging that complies with disclosure standards set by overseas laws. She has 18 days left to do so.

2. Saving the Ocean — with Swimsuits (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Meghan Edwards is in the business of promoting healthier marine life through out-of-the-ordinary swimwear. Her company, PinkFish, creates durable, swimsuits and activewear made from recycled materials. In the process, Edwards aims to play a role in a cleaner ocean for divers, swimmers and ocean conservationists who want to enjoy the seas in future years, not to mention for the creatures who live there.
The Money: Edwards has only raised $518 of a $5,000 goal, but has 19 days remaining in her campaign. If successful, she will be able to develop her newest product: a “rainbow-reef sleeveless hoodie” made from recycled plastics. Edwards plans to donate 20 percent of the proceeds from her campaign to ocean conservation charities. And $8 from each hoodie purchase will go towards saving sharks.

3. Opening Up New Worlds for Children (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Inventor Chantal Bavaud created Nanuu to encourage children to explore their creative instincts. The toy, which consists of a semi-circular wooden shell and other interchangeable parts, “transforms the art of play by using basic shapes of natural and high-quality materials,” she says in her campaign. With Nanuu’s various attachable elements made of sustainable materials, children can enjoy combining and creating new worlds for years to come.  
The Money: Bavaud has 34 days left in her campaign and, so far, has raised $1,700 of her $38,942 goal. The money will help her launch mass production of her toy.

4. Serving Better Beer (via Indiegogo)

The Business: In 2014, Sonia Marie Leikam of Portland launched a beer brewery called Leikam Brewing that she can see from her kitchen window. She takes great pride in having full community support and now wants to expand her business by selling her brews at farmers markets in the area. To do that, she needs money to purchase a Crowler machine, which will let her team seal 32-ounce cans of beer drawn directly from the tap that will stay fresh up to 3 weeks.
The Money: With a month left in the campaign, Leikam has raised $1,051 of her $6,732 goal. While not raising enough funds would “totally bum” her and her colleagues out, Leikam says she is willing to use credit cards and loans to purchase the Crowler, in service of continuing to bring better beer to Portland.

5. Shining a Light on a Cuban Journey (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Cuban-American photojournalist Lisette Poole has captured some significant moments in Cuba’s history while living in Havana during the last two years. After meeting two women with plans to go to the U.S., she decided to follow them on a dangerous journey as two of the last Cubans to migrate under what is known as the “Wet Foot Dry Foot” policy. Now, Poole wants to create a photobook of their injuries, police encounters and intimate moments, along with the field notes she captured along the way. With this book, Poole seeks to expose the realities of human smuggling, while also creating a travel guide available in both English and Spanish.
The Money: So far, Poole has raised $1,278 of her $15,000 goal, with 45 days still to go. Funds received through the campaign will help her cover publishing and distribution costs.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at [email protected].