Written by Staff for Real Simple. Originally published December, 2016.
Here’s a sobering fact about female entrepreneurship: only two to six percent of venture dollars are allocated to women, despite the fact that women-owned businesses grew 68 percent between 1997 and 2014. As is the case with many areas where women are up against men—for raises, for jobs, and for funding—female entrepreneurs have to work twice as hard to get their ideas funded. Enter iFundWomen, a Kickstarter-esque platform designed to support female entrepreneurs and help these women realize their dream projects. Through personalized coaching, production assistance, and a supportive network, iFundWomen is here to “equalize the playing field” for female entrepreneurs, lead by founder and CEO Karen Cahn.
“My mantra is all the money for all the women now,” says Cahn, who has developed a career around supporting the female economy. “The reality is: Money is power, and when women are financially independent…we can control our own destiny. That’s what I’m all about as a person and an entrepreneur.”
Cahn’s idea for iFundWomen came from a frustrating experience with her own crowdfunded project—she felt that she was not set up for success with the traditional crowdfunding model. So she created a platform that not only highlights creative and passionate female entrepreneurs, but sets up realistic expectations for their projects and ensures the most successful campaign possible. There are currently 28 approved campaigns live on the platform, about 40 at various stages of preparation, and roughly 80 that have applied and aren’t quite ready for campaigning (entrepreneurs do have to apply for the platform so that Cahn and her colleagues can vet whether the project is ready for fundraising).