There is already a glut of crowdfunding start-ups trying to lay claim to their piece of the crowdfunding pie. Plum Alley, which launched last month, is hoping there's room for another -- one that's devoted to women creators.
Though the site only has two entertainment-based projects at the moment, it's likely to attract women filmmakers looking for support for their projects. At the moment, the site has just two film or TV projects. The first is This Place Matters, a documentary series by Cindy Convery, which profiles endangered places that hold communities together, and hold memories of who we are as a country. PBS affiliate WGBH World has agreed to air the documentary in a primetime broadcast to 160 stations nationwide.The second project is Smart Women Smart Ideas, which bills itself as the first multi-screen reality competition TV show for female entrepeneurs of product companies. SWSI is endorsed by the Kauffman Foundation and early pilot participants include MSNBC's Jennifer Hill, Julie Roehm, former SVP Walmart & Daimler Chrysler and
Alana Muller, President of Kauffman FastTrac.
But, isthere room for a niche crowdfunding site? Do women need their own crowdfunding site? We posed these questions to Plum Alley founder and CEO Deborah Jackson. Her answers are below.
Why do women need their own crowdfunding site?
Plum Alley Fund was not created to be another niche crowdfunding site. It arose from a problem we saw with women's access to capital, and was a natural extension of Plum Alley's mission to support and advance women economically.
For years I have been watching women as they go about raising money for their ideas and companies. It has not been easy and data shows there is huge disparity in women raising capital versus their male counterpart. Time and time again, I hear women say "if I just had enough money to build that prototype or buy the materials I need, I would go for it." So many women, including some of our entrepreneurs featured on Plum Alley Commerce, have visions and ideas yet to be translated into creations. At the same time, I know so many women and men (husbands, fathers, boyfriends and brothers) who want to support women in reaching their dreams or doing good for the world.
For women creators, there are distinct advantages of using Plum Alley Fund over other crowdfunding platforms. Many projects will be created to solve problems and needs that are unique to women. Our Plum Alley audience is comprised of enthused individuals who are not only excited about women entrepreneurship, but can directly relate with many of the causes and projects that will be fundraising on our site.
Further, Plum Alley has an existing e-commerce platform where project creators can subsequently sell any product that rises from crowdfunding and benefit from additional exposure. Our e-commerce and crowdfunding services and audiences are complementary, and we hope to be recognized as the brand to highlight, support and advance amazing women.