The women running the campaigns featured below hail from around the globe. While their interests range widely — these female founders are fundraising to film documentaries, create reading opportunities for kids, launch a fashion subscription service and craft a new dining experience — all showcase the special cultures that influence their work.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Canadian VR Documentary on Bodily Choice (via Kickstarter)

The Business: The Choice” is a documentary directed by filmmaker Joanne-Aśka Popińska. Rather than putting it up on the big screen, however, she has a different sort of screening experience in mind — virtual reality. VR headsets, she says in her campaign, will allow viewers “to enter the digital consciousness of a virtual woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.” Popińska hopes that a more first-person experience for viewers — who watch a series of stories told to the protagonist by other women who have faced the same situation — will foster “a better understanding” and be able to “experience real empathy.”
The Money: Within the next 21 days, Popińska must raise at least $12,162 American dollars. If she succeeds, the money will help her and her team complete filming.

2. An Indiana-Based Opportunity to Learn (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Kathy Burnette wants to start Brain Lair Bookstore, a family-friendly shop in South Bend, Ind., to improve access to books for underserved kids and their relatives. She believes that independent bookstores like Brain Lair “help us restore conversations to our society by providing things for us to discuss or talk about — books, and the ideas in them.” Burnette’s venture is in its early stages — she is presently looking for the perfect location and curating a collection of books from a diverse range of authors.
The Money: Burnette hopes to raise $50,000 through her campaign, and has just under a month to secure that amount. The money will help her pay rent on a location, stock her store, acquire an inventory management system and more.

3. African Designs Delivered to Your Doorstep (via iFundWomen)

The Business: Wande Davies and Elorm Praise Dela-Seshie launched Adorn Me Africa, a monthly subscription service that delivers fashions from Ghana, Nigeria and other African nations to its American customers. The idea is “to show the world that fashion from Africa is more than just a trend,” they say. The duo is partnering with established designers who have achieved international success and cater to celebrity clients, but have not yet broken into America’s fashion market. Customers will have four subscription options, which cater to a range of budgets.
The Money: Within the next 29 days, Davies and Dela-Seshie hope to raise at least $15,000. With that funding, the co-founders will make 3 months’ worth of wholesale purchases, hire three part-time employees, put money toward website development and more.

4. Filipino Family Meals in California (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Chef Kryssie Tinsay moved to California from the Philippines when she was 15 years old, but her love of Filipino culture — in particular, its food — stayed with her. For years, she has frequently hosted pop-up meals throughout the Orange County area, as well as online. Now, she has a vision for a work-and-living space where she would welcome people into her home and cook for them — and hopes to realize the idea with the help of crowdfunding. “With having our own live/work pop-up space, we are still able to provide everyone the restaurant ambiance people are looking for but in a far more unique setting,” she says in the campaign.
The Money: Tinsay has 33 days to raise $55,000 or more. She would use the money to lease and design a space for 1 year, in addition to covering other costs, like insurance.

5. Caring for America’s Bodegas (via iFundWomen)

The Business: “Growing up in the city of Boston, bodegas (small groceries stores) were the center of our connections — not just to buy groceries, but to share a joke, a recipe, stories from home, or the latest gossip,” says film producer Evelyn Brito. But today, she says, the stores are “saturated with unhealthy [food] options and broken equipment.” She aims to change that through “Bodega Makeover,” a docu-series she conceived of in the vein of former ABC TV program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that will fix up bodegas in need. Her long-term goal is to visit stores in all 50 states.
The Money: Brito is raising money to film a short reel that will be used to pitch sponsors and producers. She has 60 days to raise at least $3,500.

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