For this week’s crowdfunding column, we’re looking at the money-raising efforts of female entrepreneurs who are aiming to bring more positivity into the world — be it through a small bookstore in a growing community, the creation of opportunities for women overcoming obstacles, or the distribution of an empowering calendar.

Check out these five crowdfunding campaigns from women-led businesses below:

1. Gluten-Free Goodies from Two Busy Bees (from Kickstarter)

Busy Bees

The Business: The BusyBees Bakeshop in Hillsboro, Ore., is a joint effort run by Rosie Brown and Heidi Hinderliter. The duo was motivated to open up shop after an unsuccessful search for the perfect barbecue accessory — a gluten-free bun capable of handling “a big, juicy burger.” From there, Brown and Hinderliter developed other recipes. Now, the team is ready to share its delicious creations.
The Money: By April 4, the duo is hoping to raise $10,000, much of which would be used to help them expand the business by taking on more requests. “We have been overwhelmed with orders, but we are struggling with production because we are baking out of residential ovens and are definitely in need of commercial equipment,” the campaign says. Brown and Hinderliter also want to develop the bakery’s online presence.

2. Bringing the Past to Future Generations (from Kickstarter)


The Business: In 1919, the Women’s Engineering Society was formed in London. That same year, it began production and distribution of a journal, “The Woman Engineer.” Now, the organization’s immediate past president Carol Marsh is spearheading a fundraising effort to digitize the entire collection of journals (presently stored at the Institution of Engineering and Technology) that’s not already available online.
The Money: Marsh and the society hope to raise 4,000 GPB (or just under $6,000) by April 17. All of the funds raised through the campaign will be used toward digitizing the archived journals.

3. Creating a Book-Lover’s Oasis (from Indiegogo)

The Business: In Hoboken, N.J., a team of women have big dreams for a small store front. Little City Books owners Donna Garban, Emmanuelle Morgen and Kate Jacobs want to create an “indie” book lover’s dream — a space where one can not only purchase books, but read, discuss and celebrate them as well.
The Money: The team’s $22,000 goal amount will, if raised by April 19, be used to handle construction costs, expanding book inventories and outreach efforts to surrounding schools and local educators.

4. Helping Women Love the Skin They’re In (from Indiegogo)

The Business: “Love for Pin-Up” is more than a celebration of retro-inspired, risque photography — for the women of Rio Designs, it’s a chance to foster heightened awareness of “a form of art that is part of our history, with cultural and iconic imagery that is sexy and socially conscious.” Led by entrepreneur Christine Feldmann, the Rumson, N.J.-based business hopes to release a calendar of its positive, celebratory photography.
The Money: By May 4, the team hopes to raise $5,000 (though Rio Designs will receive some funding even if the campaign falls short, due to Indiegogo’s flexible funding option). With that money, Feldmann and her team will be able to cover the significant printing costs of generating a physical calendar, as well as graphic design efforts and other associated costs.

5. Changing the World by Strengthening its Women (from Indiegogo)

The Business: The S.W.A.T. Institute (an acronym for “Simply Woman Accredited Trainer”) in Ontario, Canada, is offering an “Empowerment Coaching Certification Program” just for women. The three-year program, coordinated by institute founder Crystal Andrus Morissette, focuses on helping women overcome significant personal setbacks such as abuse, then offering them an education.
The Money: The organization has set a significant fundraising goal of $375,000. With those funds, the institute wants to offer scholarships to women who qualify to attend, but cannot afford to do so. With the money raised, as many as 100 women could receive their educations from the S.W.A.T. Institute for free. A portion of any funds raised will be awarded to Morissette and her institute through the Flexible Funding option.

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