Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, was rejected by several mills before she found someone who would make her product. Now she owns a billion-dollar company. Women and people of color like Blakely have had to fight 10 times as hard as their white, male counterparts to be taken seriously in the business world. Now, people like Roshawnna Novellus are helping to even the playing field for these entrepreneurs. Their secret weapon? Crowdfunding.
How crowdfunding helps fix systemic issues
- Avoiding traditional institutions. Women and people of color traditionally have been overlooked when it came to securing funding from banks, lenders and other resources. Community funding platforms such as EnrichHer allow these entrepreneurs to sidestep these gatekeepers and get the help they need from those willing and excited to give.
- Allowing the community to decide. Community funding gives the consumer the ability to invest in a product or service they actually would be interested in! This gives regular citizens everywhere a chance to be excited about emerging businesses and to feel as if they know the founder and know where the product is coming from.
- Surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Community funding platforms give founders, investors and consumers the ability to connect. Founders can connect with each other, learn and grow together. Investors can connect with each other as well as founders, and consumers can check in on upcoming business and maybe connect with a founder or investor and follow in their footsteps.
Staying afloat during rough times
A lot of businesses are struggling and need capital now more than ever. If EnrichHer and other community funding platforms aren’t available for you, Novellus recommends a few things. First, stick to your most profitable offerings. If you sell coffee, don’t offer a million varieties. They may not all sell, and you’ll spend a fortune on ingredients. Next, modify the way you operate if necessary. Adapt to these changing times and come up with creative solutions to unexpected problems. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be unsure of something and ask questions. You have connections for a reason, and it’s important to use them whenever necessary. There are no stupid questions. Get the answers you need to keep your business going today.