By Clark Buckner
Female entrepreneurs face certain obstacles that their male counterparts may never have to consider. For instance, according to Ventureneer Founder and President Geri Stengel, women in business typically “start with about half of the capital” that male entrepreneurs do. In her upcoming report on equity crowdfunding for women in business, Stengel hopes to reverse that trend.
Rewards-Based Crowdfunding vs. Equity Crowdfinding
Stengel notes the differences between the most well-known crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, and equity crowdfunding platforms. Kickstarter is a rewards-based platform where a user typically receives a product or service when they back a project. On the other hand, equity-based crowdfunding platforms, like EarlyShares or AngelList, offer shares of a company, similar to what a person would buy on the stock market. They won’t receive a product or service, but they may receive financial rewards in the long-term.
A Roadmap for Public Equity Crowdfunding
Because of recent changes to Title II of the Jobs Act, companies can now publicly ask for equity funding, which has led to a rise in crowdfunding equity platforms. However, Ventureneer’s research has shown that female entrepreneurs tend to ask for funding privately more often than they do publicly. Stengel’s upcoming report aims to offer these businesswomen a roadmap for how they can effectively use public appeals through social media, email newsletters, and other public marketing strategies to raise more money for their respective companies and entrepreneurial pursuits. Even for smaller companies just starting out, technology solutions like marketing automation make it possible to efficiently connect with large groups of people through these mediums and grow those relationships over time.
Stengel noted that such strategies are “critical in helping you reach out, whether it’s email or social media, making it easier for you to do the outreach to the people you already know.” In other words, entrepreneurs should learn how to use the many tools of digital connection at their disposal in order to maximize their potential crowdfunding results.
Vist the “Crowdfunding Report” page at Ventureneer.com to learn more about their forays into crowdfunding, or connect with them on Twitter @ventureneer. Lastly, visit PlumAlley in early January 2015 to support or follow along with Stengel’s crowdfunded report on crowdfunding.
To hear more about how women in business can best utilize equity crowdfunding, listen to the full TechnologyAdvice interview.
This interview was conducted by Clark Buckner of TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting the buyers and sellers of business technology. Clark hosts the TechnologyAdvice Podcast, and also keeps tabs on news and events in the company’s tech conference calendar. Tweet him a hello or connect with him on LinkedIn.