5 Ways to Be the Best Mother and Entrepreneur You Can Be

Let’s kick this off by making one thing clear: If you are out there in the world doubling as a mother and an entrepreneur, you are, by definition, a badass, fierce, multi-tasking mama! But let’s keep it real, your work is never done and we mean that in every sense. Whether it’s your growing children or your (hopefully) growing business, both require your undivided love and attention. So, at the risk of asking the most cliché, skin-crawling question ever - how do you do it all? The answer is that you can’t do it all, but you can strive to be the best version of yourself, as a mother and as a startup founder.

At iFundWomen, we are all about paying forward the lessons learned and we would never leave you without some tangible tips, so we tapped into the iFundWomen community and asked some of our #MamasInBusiness to share their best practices for managing the balancing act that is life as Mompreneur:

  1. Teach your kids independence.

Natalie Garay, Founder & CEO,  Ther Happy , with her three daughters.

Natalie Garay, Founder & CEO, Ther Happy, with her three daughters.

You are raising little humans who will some day, whether you like it or not, turn into adults (if they haven’t already!). Do yourself and your children a favor and train those mini-me’s to take on some of the simple day-to-day tasks that will make your life easier and that will give them a sense of pride for having done something to care for themselves.

2. Share your work with your children.

Kate Anderson, Co-Founder & Director of Operations,  iFundWomen , with her kids.

Kate Anderson, Co-Founder & Director of Operations, iFundWomen, with her kids.

Your children and your startup are likely two of your greatest passions in life, and being present at home doesn’t have to mean hiding something you love and care about from your family. So, whenever possible, share some of your work life with your children, giving them some context around this thing you are working so hard at each day, and make them feel a part of your entrepreneurial journey!

3. Plan ahead.

Tasha O’Farril, President,  Checklist Home Services , with her kids.

Tasha O’Farril, President, Checklist Home Services, with her kids.

NBD, right? In all seriousness, there are of course things we can all be doing better to stay on top of our calendars and to-do lists, but when you add being a mom to your daily duties, staying on track becomes that much more important. Try not to let tasks that come up just bounce back and forth in your brain all day - it will only hinder your productivity. Instead, get new to-do’s out of your head, onto a to-do list, and prioritized as soon as possible.  You will spend far less time doing this than you will trying to tap into the hodgepodge of tasks just lingering in that head of yours!

4. Be present.

Sarah Sommers, Co-Founder & Marketing Director,  iFundWomen , with her son.

Sarah Sommers, Co-Founder & Marketing Director, iFundWomen, with her son.

Whether at work or with your family, every single moment is precious.  It may sound dramatic, but it’s true. So the last thing you want to do is waste that time being unfocused, and then agonizing over the fact that you haven’t really given the task or people before you 100% of YOU. So do yourself a favor and, if you are spending time with your kids, spend time with your kids. If you’re at work, be at work. It’s easier said than done, but if you can put this to practice, you will inevitably start to experience more and more wins each day! 

5. Be brave and you children will be, too.

Amri Kibbler, Co-Founder,  HEYMAMA , with her daughter.

Amri Kibbler, Co-Founder, HEYMAMA, with her daughter.

Never forget that by having the grit and determination to create a product or service that solves a significant problem, you are setting the ultimate example for your children.  The entrepreneurial road is long, windy and there is definitely some you-know-what that you’ll step in along the way, but the passion and perseverance you put on display for your kids will have a significant impact on how they go out into the world and fight for what they want in life.  

Believing in yourself is contagious, so be sure to find your tribes of women who are in the hustle just like you, who can relate to what you are going through, and who can support you and give you the confidence boost you need to be a rockstar mom and business owner each day! For those mompreneurs out there who are new to iFundWomen, be sure to join our weekly webinar and learn more about the community we have built to support all of the women entrepreneurs on our platform!

For all the working moms out there, hopefully these five little tidbits of wisdom bring you some relief, and perhaps make you feel a little less alone and more appreciative of all that you are doing for your family and your business each day.

This Sunday, give yourself a pat on the back, or rather make sure someone gives you a massage...they can do the back-patting!

Happy Mother’s Day to all our #MamasInBusiness

Love,

The iFundWomen Team







The Magic of Women Writing The Checks

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by Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO, iFundWomen

My co-founders and I started iFundWomen to solve a problem: there is a complete lack of funding options for early-stage entrepreneurs. Only 1% of companies, regardless of the gender of the founder, will ever raise venture capital. So, what do the other 99% of startup founders do? They max out their credit cards or they try to take out a bank loan, and nobody should go into debt funding the early days of their startup.

But the funding gap for women entrepreneurs is not just about a lack of access to capital. Lack of access to coaches and mentors who have “been there, done that” to guide them in the process, and lack of access to a community of sisters in the hustle raising money alongside you are also huge barriers.

Most of you reading this can totally relate to this problem: being a solopreneur, feeling isolated and alone, racking up credit card debt, just trying to make your entrepreneurship dream come true. We see you, we are you, and we get it.  

iFundWomen Co-Founders: Kate Anderson, Karen Cahn, Sarah Sommers

iFundWomen Co-Founders: Kate Anderson, Karen Cahn, Sarah Sommers

Sarah, Kate, Olivia, Zeina, Maya, Stephen, and I know about this problem in a very intimate way because we are our own customers. We built iFundWomen for us – for female founders. There are 111 million of us around the world who are seeking the capital, the coaching, the creative, the community, and the connections that we need to launch and grow businesses.

This is iFundWomen.

And we’re on the same exact journey that our customers are on, we’re just a few stages ahead. So, this past fall, after raising a seed round to invest in tech and talent (thank you to the amazing, feminist men who funded us quickly), the time came for us to raise even more capital.  

It also occurred to us that we were a company named iFundWomen without any women on our cap table, and that needed to change.

So, when we received an announcement from The Wing about a new startup accelerator they were launching with _able called Wingable, we jumped at the chance to apply. Not only was this an opportunity for iFundWomen to raise much-needed capital from female investors, but this was also the chance for the coaches to get coached.

The moment that iFundWomen was named as one of the 10 companies chosen for Wingable, was the moment we knew that we were embarking on a mission to diversify our cap table, and we were SO READY.

Wingable Class of 2019

Wingable Class of 2019

Wingable was a six-week startup accelerator unlike anything we had ever experienced. We learned how to build a women’s brand from the experts who helped Audrey and Lauren build the Wing. Because of the access to the Wing’s team in all areas of their business - from design thinkers to lawyers to programming experts (not the computer kind, the IRL community kind) - we were learning from the best and we could not take notes fast enough.

It was clear that Amanda Eilian and Lisa Blau, the partners of _able, understood the immense impact that the combination of funding, coaching, and connections would have on all 10 companies who made it in. These were the principles that Amanda & Lisa valued most as women investors, and this is what our cap table had been missing all along.

Wingable, and the subsequent investment from _able partners, was the first check we received in our round. That feeling that our entire team felt - being validated by the tastemakers who were invested in some of the hottest women’s brands like The Wing, Goop, and Daily Harvest - was a startup founder high like no other.  We were on our way to diversifying our cap table!

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Ok, so how did we raise the rest of it? First, we fundraised with intention, making a commitment to walking the walk and building a fundraising strategy that was representative of our brand, our mission and the problem we are solving.

Second, we fundraised within a community. To us, diversifying our cap table meant not only bringing on investors who reflected our company’s values, but also conducting our raise in a way that celebrated the powerful magic that can take place when you get a bunch of badass female leaders in a room together IRL.  

And it was truly magical.

We invited 40 potential investors to join us at Luminary, a space in New York City, that was funded on iFundWomen, to experience the value of our product, to hear the founders mission and vision, to meet our team, and to really talk to our customers. We called it “The iFundWomen Off-Road Show” because we didn’t leave our block to do the meetings. The investors came to us. Why? Because we selected a highly curated group of women who we KNEW put their money where their mouths are. This was a no-BS group of power ladies who were already invested in female founders, and came to play.

 
 

The opportunity to pitch your business to a room full of passionate, brilliant women who just get it cannot be taken for granted and iFundWomen’s Off-Road Show was a moment that is now etched into our company’s history.

Now, here we are, two months later, proud to say that we have closed our seed round, and we are so excited to announce iFundWomen’s new female investor team including ‘the most powerful woman on Wall Street’, the new female founder whisperer & designer of the famed “Morning After bag,” and the woman who invented the glam service we literally can’t live without. Head over to our Instagram to see the full list of women writing the checks.

The value we received from Wingable went far beyond the funding, and that rings true for the effect each of these investors will have on our cap table. They are not just women writing checks. They’re part of our growing community. They’re our connectors. They’re our rapidly growing pipeline. They’re our brand ambassadors.

But most importantly, they are women who believe in the impact iFundWomen is having, and will continue to have, on the massive funding gap facing female founders, and they wrote the checks to help make that possible.

Money talks.

PS - We are currently basking in the glow of closing our round, but stay tuned to all iFundWomen channels as we continue to share more of the practical takeaways from our funding journey.

Will You Be My Co-Founder?

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There’s nothing like having a co-founder (or two, or three) by your side during your startup journey. In honor of Galentine’s day, these co-founder teams within the iFundWomen community are showing some love, sharing the ins and outs of what you should look for in a startup partner, and paying forward some tips on how to best work together.

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Kate Anderson, Sarah Sommers and Karen Cahn, Co-Founders of iFundWomen

Kate Anderson, Sarah Sommers and Karen Cahn, Co-Founders of iFundWomen

What has been the greatest benefit of having co-founders by your side on your entrepreneurial journey?

The greatest benefit of having trusted co-founders is having two other, totally dedicated humans, to walk the walk with. Running a startup is overwhelming and stressful with high-highs and low-lows, and the best way to manage the good, the bad, and the ugly is to do so with your trusted co-founders by your side. keyword: trusted

How have you and your co-founders learned to work best with each other?

Communicating clearly, being patient and knowing we are all working towards the same goal.

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

First and foremost, you need to find someone who is passionate about the mission behind your business and the problem that you are solving. You should look for people who have a different set of skills that you have. If you are great at marketing but not so great at operations, look for an operator. If you are a girl who codes, but has no idea how to build a brand, look for a brand person.

- Karen, Kate & Sarah


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Courtney Bernabei & Amanda Raposo, Co-Founders of Pal by Project Playdate

Courtney Bernabei & Amanda Raposo, Co-Founders of Pal by Project Playdate

How did you find your co-founder?

I was running my business as a solo-founder for seven years. I knew that if I was going to succeed beyond local scale, I needed a co-founder that had a complimentary skill set and a passion for this vision. We were on the same "learning team" at Columbia Business School. We were thrown into so many highly stressful academic experiences and worked super well together. It was co-founder love at first sight for me! It took me about a year and a half to court her. ;)

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

Our success as a team is driven by the tension between two very different skillsets, personalities, experiences and, often times, opinions. As long as there is sincere mutual respect, working with someone who is different than you and who won't "yes" everything you say is, in my opinion, the best possible co-founder.

- Amanda & Courtney


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How have you and your co-founder learned to work best with each other?

Open communication is everything. We share (overshare) everything. It's important not to take things personally when we’re giving feedback to each other and realizing that we both have the companies and each others best interest in mind. For us, there is a high level of understanding of where the other person is at mentally and emotionally. We always encourage each other to take care of ourselves, whether that be personal days, exercise, game nights, ice cream, etc.

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

When you decide to start a company with someone it really is like you’re getting married. Your co-founder is the last person you’ll text at night and the first person you’ll text in the morning (maybe that's just us?). You need to completely trust the other person, because you’re going to be relying on them A LOT.

- Courtney & Jane

Courtney Snavely & Jane Mitchell, Co-Founders of Ovee

Courtney Snavely & Jane Mitchell, Co-Founders of Ovee


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Kate Viggiano & Amy Dagliano, Co-Founders of The Rowan Tree

Kate Viggiano & Amy Dagliano, Co-Founders of The Rowan Tree

What has been the greatest benefit of having a co-founder by your side on your entrepreneurial journey?

The greatest benefit of having each other has been the ability to lean on each other's strengths -- and simply, to lean on each other -- when we need to. We tag-team all the time, bounce ideas off of each other, and make those ideas even better because we build on each other's thoughts. Plus sanity. A co-founder really helps with sanity.

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

Transparency, honesty, confidence, passion, drive and an undying work ethic.

- Kate & Amy


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How did you and your co-founders find each other?

We found our way to one another through different advocacy work each of us was doing within the Advertising industry. We believe it was mostly the universe and some good witchy vibes that brought us together. ;)

Can you describe when and how you knew you needed to bring on a co-founder?

The Coven literally wouldn't exist without all four of us co-founders making it happen together! We knew we needed each other from day one.

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

A likeminded, like-hearted partner in crime with a skillset much different from your own. Someone you can love deeply, argue with, and confide in. Basically find someone you want to marry because that's really what a business is...a sexless marriage full of spreadsheets and ideas.

- Bethany, Liz, Erinn & Alex

Bethany Iverson, Liz Giel, Erinn Farrell, Alex Steinman, Co-Founders of The Coven

Bethany Iverson, Liz Giel, Erinn Farrell, Alex Steinman, Co-Founders of The Coven


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Kristin Carroll & Jillian Schmitt, Co-Founders of Survivorship Solutions

Kristin Carroll & Jillian Schmitt, Co-Founders of Survivorship Solutions

How have you and your co-founder learned to work best with each other?

We communicate all the time. We are completely honest with each other, even if it means we disagree sometimes. We also trust each other. It's like any relationship - if you don't have trust, you don't have anything. We know we are aligned in our intentions, so even if one of us has to make a decision without the other, we assume she will do her best. And the decision is usually awesome.

How did you find your co-founder (or how did she find you)?

Jillian and I worked together at our last job and we shared a lot of the same work and life missions, work ethic and passion for owning our own business. We knew that we could do better for our colleagues and healthcare organizations nationwide and saw a vision to get us there. Jillian was ready to walk out on that limb of entrepreneurship and offered me the role as co-captain on that ship!

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

Someone who is self-aware, a good listener, a good communicator, open to ideas, flexible, adaptable, and dedicated.

- Kristin & Jillian


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Carissa Tozzi & Gena Mann, Co-Founders of Wolf + Friends

Carissa Tozzi & Gena Mann, Co-Founders of Wolf + Friends

Can you describe how you knew you needed to bring on a co-founder?

I knew from personal experience that there was a blank space in the special needs market that needed to be addressed. So I approached my friend + former colleague Gena Mann, whom I've known since elementary school, and was raising two boys on the autism spectrum, about my idea: creating a shopping and lifestyle destination for families that was inclusive, inspiring, and fun. I knew I needed a partner who was a mom with a lot of experience and a positive, honest perspective raising children with special needs to get involved.

What should female entrepreneurs consider when looking for a co-founder?

Find someone who is in it for the same reasons you are. And find someone you like and respect as you will be spending most of your time with them making very important decisions.

-Carissa & Gena


How This Entrepreneur Stands Out in a Saturated Market

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Jumping on the hot, new trend can be extremely lucrative or extremely difficult for entrepreneurs because you must find a way to distinguish your product or service as the new kid on the block. Cate Luzio, Founder & CEO of Luminary, left her 20-year banking career to build a physical space for women to develop, network and connect.

We sat down with Cate to discuss how she used crowdfunding to launch her business and how she’s paving the way for Luminary in the sea of female-focused spaces.

Q: Tell us about Luminary.

Cate Luzio: Luminary is a new collaboration hub and meeting space for women who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. We created an ecosystem of quality programming and amenities for women. We opened our doors in November 2018 and our members have access to 15,000 square feet of open workspace and communal areas in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City.

Luminary has everything you need to fit in your day with a fitness studio with various classes in barre, HIIT, yoga, pilates and more, a beauty Bar in partnership with Glam + Go, numerous conference and meeting rooms, event space, phone booths, a lactation room, free coffee and wine on tap and so much more.

Q: What’s sets Luminary apart from other co-working or wellness spaces for women?

CL: Luminary exists because there is a growing need for more spaces and places for women to invest in themselves and their self-care. Luminary is the ultimate career advocate for women. We lead with a deep commitment to supporting and advancing the careers and businesses of our members through a comprehensive slate of daily programming. We are all about community and women supporting each other. These are just some of the qualities that set us apart.

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Q: What advice would you give to women creating products/services in industries where solutions have already been built?

CL: Create it! If you have a concept or product idea that you’re passionate about – write a business plan and make it happen. Even if there are existing solutions in the space – hone in on what makes your idea different and lean into that. It’s also important to survey and understand the landscape you’re entering to see what other players in the space are doing – this will help you to see your unique opportunity. Innovation and disruption often happen in established industries and you could be leading the next big change.

Q: How did you know you were ready to leave your 9-5 career and pursue your entrepreneurial dreams?

CL: After leaving my job, I started weighing other banking opportunities. I attended an intimate, networking event with incredible women. The conversations were so fascinating and each woman wanted to stay connected, extend help and their networks.  I rode home on the subway and thought, “How can we do that on a larger scale?” I started writing down all of these ideas and those ideas translated into the business plan for Luminary.

I was so committed to this concept and getting it off the ground. I did my research and hit the road to visit other women’s spaces around the country, led focus groups for feedback, and poured all my energy into the concept. Given my dedication to creating Luminary, it was clear that this was more than a passion project or a hobby. I knew that my next step would be as an entrepreneur.

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Q: Why did you decide to crowdfund?

CL: We partnered with iFundWomen for our membership drive. We offered discounted, pre-sale memberships on the platform to ensure we had a strong community of women before we opened our doors. We’re committed to partnering with other women-led businesses like iFundwomen and the platform already has such a strong community of female founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

Q: How long did it take you to prepare for your campaign, and what advice do you have for someone planning to launch her crowdfunding campaign in 2019?

It took us about two months to prepare our campaign for launch. We took time to think through the content and messaging and how we wanted to showcase our membership options and rewards. We also did a campaign video and that was essential to explaining what Luminary is all about before the physical space opened. People respond well to visuals and I highly encourage those looking to crowdfund to invest in a video and their website.

Another tip that I would offer is that it’s alright to make changes after you launch your campaign. We took in feedback and made changes to respond to what people wanted - iteration is alright. I would also say that you need to cast a wide net with your outreach, encourage others to share and don’t be afraid to follow-up.

Don’t be afraid to lean into the experts at iFundWomen; this is their business so the guidance, coaching, and learnings they can provide are instrumental.

Q: What are your greatest learnings from your crowdfunding experience?

CL: I learned a great deal throughout the crowdfunding experience. Luminary is all about building community and I found it so helpful to start by building bonds online through the crowdfunding campaign. It’s hard work so be prepared. The campaign helped me build stronger relationships within my network and even identify those who are great brand ambassadors – spreading the word with me.

Q: What are Luminary’s 2019 goals?

CL: We are excited to bring more members into our growing community. This is our first year so we are looking forward to focusing on our roster of professional programming, kicking our fitness offering into high gear, and bringing more and more inspirational voices in to meet and interact with our members. We ultimately want to create personal and one-of-a-kind experiences for each of our members so that they feel at home with us.  

5 Ways to Start Planning for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

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by Olivia Owens, Marketing Manager at iFundWomen

`We often get asked when the best time to run a crowdfunding campaign is and the truth is you should run your campaign once you’ve done the prep work. Pro tip: the earlier you start prepping the better.

The next question is - what goes into planning a crowdfunding campaign? So we’ve compiled some steps you can take now in preparation for a crowdfunding campaign in 2019!

1. Take advantage of our free resources to learn the crowdfunding basics.

If you haven’t taken our free Crowdfunding Basics Webinar, that’s the best place to start. We cover everything you need to know about crowdfunding on iFundWomen. From the different reasons women are raising money on our platform to how to build a strong rewards strategy that doesn’t cut into your profits. Like to be extra prepared? Check out our Campaign Guide and come to the webinar with questions to ask our coaches!

2. Build up your email list.

The larger your network, the more money you’ll be able to raise, so start building now! Go to networking events, join online communities, and treat yourself to a co-working space membership (because IRL connections are where it’s at). Start telling your friends and family about your campaign early on. Encourage people to join your email list to stay in the know and keep them updated on your progress. Then, when your campaign goes live, they’ll be ready to support you!

3. Hone your pitch.

Your pitch is the foundation of your marketing strategy for your campaign (and your business).  You need to be very clear on the problem you are solving and how your product or service solves this problem. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel and sound when you’re ready to start asking for money. People want to be able to believe what you’re saying so don’t give them any reason not to. If you know you can’t hone alone, get out there and find professionals who can help you.

4. Establish your brand.

What do you need in order to crowdfund on iFundWomen? You need to have a website along with a style guide and social handles. Establish your presence and make sure your brand is consistent. Need some help with this part? We have a ton of marketing, branding & social media specialists within our network. Join our Slack network and let the community know what you need.

5. Set realistic goals.

As you start planning when to launch your campaign, set attainable, actionable goals for yourself. Choose a target number for your email list, the amount of events you want to attend, and followers on your social media.


When you’re thinking about your campaign goal amount, ask yourself these two things:

  • What is the minimum amount I need to raise to execute the next step for my business? If you’re manufacturing the first order of your accessories line, how much do you need for an initial production run? If you’re launching an online course, what’s the minimum amount you need to develop and publish that content?

  • What is the size of my network? If you know 100 people, you probably shouldn’t set a goal of $300K.  Instead, if you know 100 people, and on average you think they’ll contribute $50, somewhere around $7K is going to be a great place to start.

Luckily, we have an amazing, free tool that you can use for all of this planning: Our Coaches Playbook. Use it to write out your pitch, evaluate your network, build a rewards strategy and determine an appropriate goal amount.

Bonus: Sign up for iFundWomen for more tools and support!



Strangers Are an Entrepreneur's Best Resource

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by Zeina Muna, Director of Business Development, iFundWomen

I remember feeling opulent the first time I bought toilet paper and other household items on my smartphone. It seemed ridiculous that something as small and easily accessible as dental floss could be ordered online and arrive 2 days later with free shipping. Fast forward to today, and you can now ask a voice-controlled speaker to re-order your toothpaste on-demand. It seems everything in the world is becoming virtual - you can even get birth control or talk to a therapist online.

But there is a dark side to living virtually - screen time is an undeniable issue in today's society and people are feeling isolated, alone and disconnected from one another.

In my role as Director of Business Development at iFundWomen, I speak to budding entrepreneurs every single day about their business concepts. Most of the products and services being created today have a common need state that they are tailoring to - people want to connect with other people. Just this month I've seen ideas for a pop-up space to play board games, a bar without alcohol, and a number of female co-working spaces for independent workers.

Moreso, there is a significant swell in online communities which host IRL (in real life) events and workshops. If you are a woman living in NYC right now, you are probably a member of Ladies Get Paid (a group focused on salary negotiation and professional development for women), HEYMAMA (a group for working mothers) or Freelancing Females (the name says it all).

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With these online communities, you can find your tribe online and then meet a room full of strangers and effectively trust them immediately. This is what the modern day book club looks like and the topic could be motherhood, nomadic life choices, glass ceilings, racial barriers, and the list goes on. These communities are unique because, although they are significant in size, they have mastered how to maintain an intimate feel.  Ladies Get Paid has over 15,000 members on their Slack channel alone, HEYMAMA has activation hubs in six cities, and Freelancing Females boasts over 13,000 members globally. Yet, their events are frequent and cozy enough that you can spend the evening deep in discussion with a handful of people and leave feeling like you actually made a friend.

These strangers are important. You might find yourself suddenly a mentor or a mentee and the outside perspective can help you bridge the gap in your personal and professional development. These strangers probably won't replace your best friends (or therapist), but they might turn into invaluable connections, sources for unexpected education, much needed accountability, and inspiration for growth. In our iFundWomen Slack network, you might even meet your technical co-founder or find your next social media manager.

Sarah Sommers, Olivia Owens, and Zeina Muna of iFundWomen joined by Amri Kibbler, Co-Founder of HEYMAMA

Sarah Sommers, Olivia Owens, and Zeina Muna of iFundWomen joined by Amri Kibbler, Co-Founder of HEYMAMA

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what you have achieved in the last 12 months and set the stage for what you would like to achieve in the next 12. Identify the areas of personal growth that you want to explore and find the strangers to explore them with.

If you’re interested in setting some goals for the year, sign up for our Goal Setting Webinar!

iFundWomen Crowdfunding Tip Guide

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2018 has been an amazing year for the iFundWomen community! Our entrepreneurs have raised the funding needed to launch and grow their businesses and now they're paying forward their crowdfunding wisdom, tips and tricks. For anyone considering crowdfunding in 2019, make sure you take notes from these pros!

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“Be fearless! This will take you 100% out of your comfort zone, and that is the point! Growth is supposed to be uncomfortable. Also, don't let your pride stand in the way of reaching your goal. If you don't ask, you WILL NOT receive.” - Brittany Cribbs, Founder of Cloud 9 Easy Go

“Take extra time to think of big dollar strategic partnerships you can sell BEFORE you launch your campaign so at launch you come out of the gate strong.” - Jessica Kelly, Founder of THR3EFOLD

“You are not in this alone. The community that iFundwomen has created is such a resourceful tool for you if you let it be! Don’t hesitate to connect with other business owners if you feel like you are in a rut.” - Lauren Beasley, Founder of The Project

“It takes several touches to get to yes. Make sure you are checking back and giving personal updates to your network.” - Deborah Owens, Founder of WealthyU

 
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“Choose the rewards that would take the least effort to do and give you the highest margins. After a few weeks, pivot if you need to. Get rid of the rewards that don't sell and advertise the items that are preferred by your backers. I would also recommend you create new rewards that could fit your target audiences better after receiving some feedback as your campaign proceeds.” - Beau Wangtrakuldee, Founder of AmorSui

“Cut the merch! If you're not in the t-shirt business, don't be in the t-shirt business.” The Co-Founders of The Coven

“Reach out to other companies in your industry to get rewards donated!” - Elena Buenrostro, Founder of Women Who Drone

“Establish price points for everyone. Think about your funding goal and work backwards to determine the price breaks. And an iFundWomen coach can help.” - Dionne McCray, Founder of Iva Jewell

 
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“I'm a salesperson my whole banking career. I have no fear! But for those who do, you have to be authentic and believe in what you are selling or funding. That is critical to getting people to open their wallets. Prove value.“ - Cate Luzio, Founder of Luminary

“It was definitely hard, but at some point we realized we just couldn't have any shame. The most difficult part was having our texts/emails/social media requests for money blatantly ignored. And I would be lying if I said we didn't take it personally! It really helps to have other people to commiserate with... and the iFW community definitely provided that!” - Heather Korth, Co-Founder of Our Front Porch

“I sent my campaign to friends and family and said "HERE! Donate!" I practiced with them and then made my way up to former co-workers, then to my network. At times, it was uncomfortable but I realized people wanted to help, it wasn't a handout- it was supporting a local small business. They were investing in me. “ - Kalilah Wright, Founder of Mess in a Bottle



“By believing in my project more than I believe in my fear of rejection. If I won't advocate for my toys and get uncomfortable for them, why in the world would anyone else?” - Ruth

Rau, Founder of Mouse Loves Pig

 
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“I was able to raise enough money to get a first version of my application developed. I think more important than the money, is the confidence it gave me. It really proved that there is a market for my product and that people are behind me in what I’m trying to do. So much so, that they were willing to put their own hard earned money behind me. That’s the coolest feeling.” - Founder of Making Authentic Friendships

“Our community doubled and we now have built a community of loyal supporters who are supporting and cheering us on! It has been major.” - Taylor Jay, Founder of Taylor Jay Collection

“I learned who is behind my business, who I can lean on, and who believes in what I’m doing.” - Jill Angelo, Founder of genneve

“My business was reshaped in a way I never expected. It made me see it from an outsider’s vision and I realized that my product has real meaning and a story behind it, not just something I wanted to sell. The coaching was the best part of all of it. I couldn't have done it without my amazing IFW coach and as hard as it was, I will take it as one of the best decisions I have made for the future os my business.” - Karenine Arraya, Founder of Nineh

 
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“Hands down, the community. The support is intense and amazing, its something you never knew you were missing.“ - Sailaja Joshi, Founder of Bharat Babies

“Ultimately, it served as the impetus for getting the business launched and was a warm and fuzzy way to get our initial public feedback. Being able to participate in the 12 week Accelerator Program was a huge value. Additionally, the Virtual Pitch experience was a great benefit - the time and prep that went into making sure our business plan was together enough to present to VCs was invaluable.” - Sheila Attari, Founder of Buttercup Bodywear

'“My top two things were the community of other entrepreneur women and the high quality professional and authentic videos they help produce. They help you tell your story in a compelling way and the cost of the video is extremely affordable and professional. And the iFundWomen team is awesome!” - Amy Dagliano, Co-Founder of Rowan Tree

“I loved the coaching that I got from iFundWomen; My coach made me feel really confident about launching my crowdfunding campaign and gave excellent tips. You won't find that level of 1:1 support on other platforms. Almost 2 years later, I am still connected to this community, it's wonderful.” - Jennifer Columbe, Founder of Sat Nam Babe

 

These Female Founders Know How to Build Community

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The fierce female founders behind HEYMAMA, Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler, know a thing or two about building, growing and managing a community. Since launching their Instagram account in 2014, they've expanded to 7 cities with 1200+ members - and this is only the beginning.

We sat down with this dynamic duo to get the scoop on their experience running their iFundWomen crowdfunding campaign (while they're still in the thick of it) and to discuss what's next for HEYMAMA.

Q: What is HEYMAMA?

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HEYMAMA: We’re a community for mothers in business with one goal: to make mamas more successful. What started as an Instagram account meant to inspire moms turned into a powerful supportive community for creative and entrepreneurial mamas in business to connect and collaborate. We put on over 100 events a year in 7 cities and provide digital resources our community uses to stay connected every day.

Here’s the fun part: we get to watch that happen. Every single day we see mamas give each other advice in our forums in real time. Often, members reach out to us and tell us they met at a HEYMAMA event and are now working on a partnership together. We see women in our community asking each other for advice that can be difficult to ask for anywhere else, from how much to pay a social media consultant to how to navigate challenges around bullying. There is a constant stream of genuine support flowing from mama to mama.

Q: Why is a community like HEYMAMA so important for working mothers?

HM: As we raise the next generation of humans while simultaneously building companies, developing innovative products and investing back into our communities, we need support and resources. Women make strong leaders, but nearly half say they they don’t have the mentorship and capital needed to grow their business. Our community is designed to change this by helping mamas in business address critical challenges through mentorship, digital resources, real-time advice, and experiences.

We invest in the success of other mamas because we know that each mama who thrives gives back even more to her community and the world at large. If we want society to thrive, we need mamas to thrive.

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Q: Who are the mama’s that inspire you?

HM: This is a hard one to answer because there are so many and we’re inspired by different mamas every day! We do have a group of incredible mamas participating in our MILF(und) campaign, which we’re running in tandem with our crowdfund to draw attention to the gender gap in funding.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for balancing entrepreneurship + motherhood?

Banish mom guilt.

Q: It’s so important that female founders combat the confidence gap and get comfortable asking for money. Has crowdfunding had an impact on how you feel about making the ask?

HM: It’s easier to make an ask when a “yes” answer feels likely. We’re lucky to be really uniquely situated in that our community is made up of so many women with significant fundraising experience, giving us proof of how much is possible. Their stories help us cultivate the belief that success is the natural progression of all of the efforts we’re taking. Developing the right mindset before making the ask is so critical to bridging that confidence gap.

We’ve been unapologetically bold in all of our messaging around crowdfunding (see: the MILF(und) campaign!). Of course, we’ve felt that fear of failure but rather than letting that drive, we’re leading with our vision for our community and women at large. In a nutshell, that consists of unequivocal belief in ourselves, the women around us, and that we’re capable of more together. To accomplish more together, we need to be completely willing to ask for what we need.

Q: What’s been your biggest learning from this crowdfunding experience?

HM: Before launching our crowdfunding campaign, we knew women, especially mamas in our community, genuinely want to support each other. Through this experience, we’ve seen that this desire to support one another can—and does—translate into the fundraising realm. We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received both in terms of the money we’ve raised and the willingness of women in our community to help us out by offering their valuable time as rewards for our supporters.

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Q: What’s next for HEYMAMA?

HM: In the immediate term, we’re building out our platform and adding more core cities so we can provide more mamas with access to the benefits of our community digitally and IRL. First up, we want to create an intuitive app and web experience to help our members get all the best of HEYMAMA in one place, and foster more connection and communication amongst our members. We’re also hiring community managers to facilitate events in our current core cities and new markets.

Long term, we’re exploring ways to support entrepreneurial mamas in concrete ways that translate into real business results.

Not only do these ladies know community, they also know how to create some amazing campaign rewards. Don't miss out on a MILF(und) t-shirt, the HEYMAMA gold neckalace, a $600 discount on iFundWomen's Crowdfunding Masterclass and so many more goodies!