Women entrepreneurs are at a disadvantage when it comes to raising capital for their businesses. They’re turned down more often than men and, when they do raise money, they raise smaller sums. (It’s a good thing they know how to do more with less).
That’s starting to change, as new funding options that bypass the traditional (male) gatekeepers take hold.
Women-owned startups are flourishing on crowdfunding sites operating under the new Regulation Crowdfunding, which opened up startup investing to all Americans. And these women entrepreneurs are tackling market gaps they’re uniquely positioned to identify and address.
Here are three women-owned startups you can invest in today. Because every day should be Women’s Day.
The right to marry for same-sex couples has been protected under federal law since 2015. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for gay couples to plan a wedding. The federal ruling provoked an outcry in some conservative quarters, and a handful of businesses have publicly refused to serve customers planning same-sex weddings.
Wedding industry professional Kimberly Vaughan has created LGBTweddings.com to address that. She envisions the Mariposa, Calif.-based site as “a place where couples can find qualified, screened, energetic, and welcoming businesses through an online resource”—and where wedding professionals and small businesses can tap into the nearly $1 trillion purchasing power of the LGBT community.
Vaughan and her team are looking to raise a minimum of $100,000 through the sale of common shares to get the venture off the ground. More on Mr. Crowd.
If you’ve ever struggled to learn a new language—because really, who has the time or attentions span?—then FlipWord may be for you. This Palo Alto-based startup has a brilliantly sneaky way to integrate the process of learning a new language seamlessly into your day-to-day life (assuming much of it is spent online browsing). FlipWord is a web browser plug-in (and soon, a mobile app) that automatically replaces a few words with the language you’re trying to learn on every web page you visit. As you hover over a word, a mini-lesson or quiz pops up.
“We started this company because we think there is a better way,” says FlipWord cofounder Yinghua Yang, a language educator. “Linguists say the best way to learn is from what you actually use everyday.”
FlipWord is seeking a minimum of $50,000 through a deferred equity vehicle called a CrowdSafe. Investors can invest as little as $20. More at Republic.
Subscriptions services have become a popular way to stock up on items you use on a regular basis—razors, pet food and, for women, tampons. Tampon Tribe stands out by offering an online subscriptions service that delivers only 100% organic, plastic- and toxin-free tampons and pads right to your door. (Yes, those old-school brands contain bleach and other additives—ugh!)
When you consider that the average woman in the U.S. will spend more than $5,600 on tampons in her lifetime, that adds up to a large market opportunity.
The all-woman team has already raised more than $72,000 in convertible notes of its $20,000 to $1 million goal. More at WeFunder.
Want to discover more investment opportunities like this? Check out investibule, a new aggregation platform (currently in beta) that scours more than 20 different crowdfunding sites, so you don’t have to.
More on women & entrepreneurship: A Crowdfunding Site for Women That Pays it Forward