Geri Stengel

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Equity Crowdfunding on Its Second Birthday: A Look Back and Ahead

Title II of the JOBS Act recently passed its second birthday, which makes it an opportune time to take a look at the sector to date, as well as attempt to chart where it is going.

The Floodgates Didn’t Exactly Burst Open

Over the course of the past two years, nearly 5,600 companies have sought capital publicly, and nearly 1,400 succeeded in raising money, according to Crowdnetic, which aggregates data from 18 equity crowdfunding platforms.

This success rate of about one in four companies is similar to the success rate in the offline world. These companies raised more than $600 million combined, averaging about $447,000 per company. While these numbers sound impressive, only a tiny percentage—2%—of money raised from accredited investors has been raised via equity platforms using 506(c) in 2014.

What’s Holding Equity Crowdfunding Back?

Several reasons have contributed to equity crowdfunding’s slow start, but many are fading out of rear-view as the movement gains momentum.

Read all of Equity Crowdfunding on Its Second Birthday: A Look Back and Ahead on

5 Powerful Ways to Use Your Purse to Help Women and Girls

Women have a powerful tool for improving the lives of girls and women — money. Finance can be used to advance change around issues as diverse as women on corporate boards, sex trafficking, bias in the media, the wage gap, equitable health access and the gap in funding women-led companies, according to The State of the Field of Gender Lens Investing: A Road Map for the Field, a report by Criterion Institute. Criterion is a think tank focused on reinventing the economy.

“Gender is the most powerful determinant of how we see the world and everything in it,” writes fellow Forbes contributor Bridget Brennan, an expert on marketing to women. “It’s more significant than age, income, ethnicity, or geography.”  Here are five ways women can use their purses to not only bring women’s and girls’ issues front and center, but also change the way things are done.

Women-led Businesses Bring Better Returns

Why are Warren Buffett and other men bullish on women?

Warren Buffett recognizes value when he sees it. His style of investing in high-quality, underpriced companies has made him one of the richest men in the world. Women are an under valued resource who are key to America’s prosperity wrote Buffett in an essay in Fortune.

How Women Angels Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Take Flight

Women have a powerful tool for helping other women get into positions of power in corporations: their money.

So You Want to Be A Crowdfunding Investor: Here’s How to Start

You, too, can help fuel the American Dream by investing in entrepreneurs whose companies may become the next Spanx or SlideShare. Investment in start-up and growing businesses isn’t just for financial institutions any more. Many people, not just friends and family, want to help entrepreneurs solve problems, innovate, and create jobs.

8 Strategies Successful Women Entrepreneurs Use

It’s always exciting to see someone you know – in my case, Sharon Hadary – publish a book. Even better when your interests overlap with the topic of the book. I thought I would see how the factors that Hadary and Laura Henderson laid out in How Women Lead: 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know apply to the women entrepreneurs I’ve written about.

Jump Start Your Small Business Loan with Crowdfunding

As an entrepreneur, Candace Klein, founder and CEO of SoMoLend, knows the pain of being on the hunt for money when it’s scarce. While things have loosened up a bit since the financial crisis began, financial institutions, such as banks, are still tight-fisted.

Angel Investors See Women Entrepreneurs As Good Investment

People who provide money and expertise to help small businesses become huge businesses are called angels. Some fly solo, others in a group. The benefit of a group of angels is sharing insights and expertise of other members when evaluating potential investments and, by so doing, increase the return on your investment. The whole is, after all, greater than the sum of its parts in brainstorming as well as metaphysics. It’s called synergy.

Why Women Entrepreneurs Should Go with the Crowd

Women-owned firms start and grow businesses with substantially less outside financing, according to a Department of Commerce survey of women-owned companies across the U.S. That helps to explain why the average women-owned business has 25% lower revenue than the typical male-owned firm in the same industry.

What Women Entrepreneurs Need Before They Join the Crowd

Recently I wrote about a new funding source for entrepreneurs: crowdfunding. Right now, small businesses can raise money from the online crowd in exchange for a give-away, such as a product or service. Sometime in 2013 the rules and guidelines for the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act should be approved, which will allow companies to give equity to crowdfunding investors in the U.S.

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