Post by Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes, MoolaHoop Co-Founders
This week marks an important milestone in realizing our dreams to help other women entrepreneurs realize theirs.
Women-owned businesses represent almost 30% of all new startups in the US, yet women entrepreneurs receive just 5% of all venture capital and only 12% of all institutional debt. As a result, most women-owned businesses are smaller from the onset, absorb more personal debt, and grow more slowly.
MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform built to help women leverage their social and professional networks to start, build or grow their businesses. Launched on July 24th , this is the first site of its kind designed especially for women entrepreneurs.
We worked together at the IBM Corporation and each left our senior management positions there a number of years ago to build careers in social services nonprofits, academia and small business. Now our signature offering represents our desire to generate positive social impact by helping to address the disparity in funding available to women entrepreneurs.
Our personal experience consulting with and supporting women entrepreneurs revealed no shortage of creativity, passion and hard work. Capitalizing on the popularity of rewards-based crowdfunding, MoolaHoop takes its first step to help women entrepreneurs reach parity for access to capital and unleash an important source of economic growth.
The Say Yes! campaign is presented at launch on MoolaHoop byBlueAvocado and Open Arms to attract funds to support the creation of a collection of ‘Made in the USA’ reusable products manufactured by women war survivors.
BlueAvocado is a women-founded Austin-based certified B Corp that has realized double-digit growth the past two years and is at an inflection point as consumers seek to green their lifestyle. Through its partnership with Open Arms—a women-owned manufacturing company that employs women refugee survivors—BlueAvocado is using MoolaHoop to fund a new line of reusable bags produced from reclaimed t-shirts and remnant fabrics and manufactured in Austin by Open Arms employees. As a result, BlueAvocado can offer a line of locally made and sourced products, and Open Arms can expand its manufacturing capacity and provide more living wage jobs for women refugees.
If 4,000 people purchase one reusable tote, Blue Avocado and Open Arms can keep more than 200,000 disposable bags out of landfills, upcycle 2,000 t-shirts, and give four women war survivors a full-time job, benefits and literacy classes for four months. If 40,000 people participate, the companies can upcycle two million disposables and Open Arms can employ 28 women refugees. This is the kind of deep, measurable impact that MoolaHoop can make possible.
Our partnership with Blue Avocado and Open Arms, along with other women entrepreneurs presenting their campaigns at launch, is a demonstration of the power of women to create a better world through business.
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In the future, we’ll be building out a robust ecosystem of business services, information and partnerships to fund and provide ongoing support to women entrepreneurs throughout the country, including access to equity funding, education, mentoring and skills. That’s the ‘Hoop. Jump in today! www.moola-hoop.com.