This installment of our crowdfunding column shows that there’s no shortage of creativity among female business owners. The founders we spotlight today are selling products ranging from galactic confections to “portable sun.” One is even creating a digital resource designed to help other women entrepreneurs. While their ventures differ significantly, these women are united in their determination to realize their dreams.
Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:
1. Light and Lovely Accessories (via Kickstarter)
The Business: A woman who identifies herself simply as Diana D. is trying to make her dreams of business ownership come true. Her budding venture, Evergreen Jewelry, sells necklaces, rings and more that are made of real flowers, seeds and resin. She’s made the product and done the market research — now, she’s ready to launch a full-time, U.K.-based store.
The Money: The campaign ends this Sunday, but it has already far surpassed its modest $208 goal. Contributions will be used to create molds and purchase a degassing chamber, which will allow this entrepreneur to craft a more diverse range of pieces before the store’s official online launch in September.
2. Promoting Companies That Stand With Women (via Plum Alley)
The Business: Many of us want to spend our hard-earned money with businesses that share our values. Enter the BUY UP Index, an app that “helps you make purchasing decisions based on a company’s demonstrated commitment to gender equality.” The index is the brainchild of Amy Cross (founder of media company Vitamin W), and it scores companies in four areas: women employees, women leadership, corporate citizenship and marketing.
The Money: Just 16 days remain before the campaign expires. By or before that date, Cross must raise over $10,000 — and she’s already more than halfway there. As more money is pledged, more women-owned businesses can be added to the BUY UP Index database, which already includes about 130 companies and 700 brands.
3. Changing the Way You View – and Use – Light (via Indiegogo)
The Business: Turning the sun’s rays into energy may seem like a distant dream for average people. But the makers of SULI — a light billed as “your portable sun” — want to change that. They have a plan to harness that power and make it accessible to the masses through 3D-printing technology. Chilean entrepreneur Ximena Munoz and her team are working with an incubator, Chrysalis, to turn the SULI prototype into a product that can storm the market.
The Money: Within the next 21 days, Munoz and her team must raise $20,000 to reach their goal, though they will receive some of what they earn regardless, thanks to Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding option. The money raised will go toward developing and distributing the product to organizations and schools in under-developed regions in need of evening light.
4. Sharpening the Minds and Bodies of Clients (via Indiegogo)
The Business: “It’s not all about the sword, but the swords do make it cooler,” says Sara Tunick, owner of Sword Class NYC, in her campaign pitch. Indeed, Tunick is focused on the mental and physical benefits of martial arts training. Tunick has operated her school in by-the-hour rented space since 2009, but she recently acquired a studio in East Harlem. Now, she aims to renovate in anticipation of the business’ next chapter.
The Money: A goal of $12,500 has been set for the campaign, though Tunick has also selected the Flexible Funding option, ensuring her a portion of whatever she raises. In addition to renovating the studio itself, she plans to build a retail store stocked with swords and other training equipment using funds generated by the campaign.
5. Confections That are Out of This World (via Kickstarter)
The Business: These handmade treats are as visually appealing as they are delicious — not surprising, since their creator is just as inspired by art as she is by dessert. Bella Wang of SweetBites is hoping to take her California-based business to the next level by creating more of her lollipops in a wider variety of designs, including custom ones that can include pictures and messages.
The Money: Wang has set a goal of $15,000, money she would use to rent commercial kitchen space and make packaging improvements, among other goals. She has until July 31 to meet or exceed that amount.
Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at [email protected].