Whether using art to give a voice to marginalized people in London and Cairo or offering food to enrich their local communities, these women want to broaden our horizons — and need help to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:
The Business: Devika Sarin started Art of Kindness as a graduate thesis project while at Imperial College Business School in London. Two years later, it is a full-fledged digital market, the proceeds from which go to charitable organizations like Project Pressure and Charity Water. Now, Sarin wants to stage the market’s first interactive, in-person art exhibition, where participants can bid on the pieces they see. She has begun developing the display, which would allow an audience to experience the artwork more directly than in their previous virtual setting, while also giving attendees information on the different causes she supports with donations.
The Money: The campaign has raised $27,767 of a $57,000 goal with 16 days left before it ends. The money will go toward renting exhibition space and paying for custom-designed installation, shipping insurance for art pieces and other costs.
The Business: Chefs Sara Markey and Andrew Brady founded an all-natural food business in Somerville, Mass., called Company Picnic. The duo has, so far, focused mostly on bringing its earthy, seasonal cuisine to nearby events and establishing a presence at its local farmer’s market. Now, Markey and Brady want to put down roots in the Union Square area of Somerville and open a brick-and-mortar location called Field & Vine. The planned restaurant would, in addition to serving food, serve as a community event space.
The Money: The pair has raised $13,520 of their $25,000 goal, with 24 days to go. Most of the money raised by Markey and Brady will go toward stocking the pantry and bar of their new restaurant. The rest will be reserved for miscellaneous costs that may crop up in the process of setting up the new location.
The Business: Grease Box is a popular cafe that will be moving to a new space from its current location in an industrial section of Oakland, Calif. The cafe made its name as an innovative, gluten-free eatery serving classic comfort food crafted by its owner, Lizzy Boelter. Her entrepreneurial journey began when she discovered she had celiac disease, and had to change the way she ate. Boelter and her wife started the cafe after Boelter struggled to find restaurants with food she could eat and to meet growing public demand for gluten-free food options. Now, Boelter wants to expand the small cafe into a full-fledged restaurant in the downtown of the city.
The Money: Boelter is selling stakes in her restaurant via an equity crowdfunding campaign and has so far raised $12,750 of her $25,000-to-$100,000 goal. Money from the campaign would be used to pay for kitchen equipment, restaurant decoration and marketing.
The Business: Marian Dossou is the owner of KakeMi, a sweets business based in Philadelphia. KakeMi’s flagship creation is the KakeMi 90 Second Cake — a single-serving confection kit that lets customers whip up their very own cake at home in just 3 minutes. Cake makers need only add water, Dossou says. With campaign-raised funds, Dossou aims to expand and automate KakeMi’s production.
The Money: Dossou’s campaign has raised $1,621 of its $10,000 goal, and 24 days remain before the campaign closes. A portion of the money raised will go toward buying baking equipment and restocking ingredients. The rest will be used to rent a commercial kitchen space and market KakeMi to a wider audience.
The Business: Amelie Losier is a well-regarded photographer who has traveled throughout Egypt, from Cairo to Alexandria and beyond, over the course of 2 years. Now, she wants to compile images of women that she captured along the way into a photography book. The volume would feature everything from casual street photography to more intimate portraits shot in domestic settings. Losier will also include interviews with her subjects, giving the women depicted a chance to tell their stories.
The Money: The campaign has raised $11,677 of a $15,665 goal, with 19 days still to go. The money she raises will cover printing costs for the publication’s first run.
Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.