Women in every industry are always struggling to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ to achieve the same success and recognition as their male counterparts.
Female entrepreneurs face a major challenge when it comes to financing their businesses. Although the number of female-led and female-owned businesses are growing, the number of women backed by venture capital is still disproportionately low because of the biases they raise. Regardless of these obstacles they still launch, but often with less capital than men, which limits their ability to grow their company.
Alternative methods of funding, like crowdfunding, have made it possible for women to navigate biases in traditional finance and build successful businesses. Crowdfunding levels the playing field because it allows the “crowd” to decide what to fund based on the campaigner’s business skills, ability and ambition – not their gender. Recent studies have actually shown that women in crowdfunding are slightly more likely to be successful than men are.
On Indiegogo, almost half of all campaigns that reach their goals are run by women. This is almost four times higher than the number of female-owned businesses that receive venture capital funding. Notable female entrepreneurs to have successfully smashed their funding goals through our platform include British entrepreneur Janet Z. Wang who created Dipsta, the app that helps promote independent, local or innovative businesses around the UK whilst giving consumers access exclusive prizes and deals, and Caroline Angus, co-founder of GravityLight, a gravity-powered lamp that can replace kerosene lamps in developing countries.
To explain women’s success in crowdfunding, Andreea Gorbatai, an assistant professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley, and Laura Nelson of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management wrote a paper called “The Narrative Advantage: Gender and the Language of Crowdfunding”.
They showed that women are particularly successful because because crowdfunding heavily relies on written text, unlike other types of funding. When crafting their crowdfunding pages, women tend to use descriptive positive, emotional and inclusive language, which appeals more to potential backers than business and financial terms do. This pitch style helps them connect with a broader audience on a deeper level.
Crowdfunding campaigns are useful for much more than simply raising funds. It provides entrepreneurs with proof that there’s a market for their product, customer feedback to improve the product or service itself, and the opportunity to build a strong community of supporters.
A successful campaign can also generate publicity, which is raises your media profile and builds the public’s trust.
Crowdfunding has been a game changer for woman across the world. It gives them a fair chance to bring their dreams to life, and support other entrepreneurs pursuing theirs. Especially after seeing proof that women are so successful in crowdfunding, it’s clearer than ever that women are worth investing in!
About the author:
Joel Hughes is the UK Head of Hardware and Technology. Joel works closely with entrepreneurs and makers at Indiegogo to bring their products to market and seamlessly transition from crowdfunding to commerce. He is passionate about revolutionising the way products are made by giving creators and makers access to capital and supporting entrepreneurs vision for their product or idea.
Joel has more than 10 years of experience spanning retail management, marketing and business development, which has allowed him to develop a set of valuable skills that have been focused on the crowdfunding sector. Prior to his current role, he was the Senior Partnerships Manager at Crowdfunder.co.uk, where he was responsible for developing and managing relationships with corporate and public organisations, resulting in securing more than £2 million in CSR match funding, most of which was made available for crowdfunding campaigns.