What is FundRiseHER™

FundRiseHER™ is a rewards-based crowdfunded grant program that has been created to foster access to capital for women entrepreneurs.  It is being introduced as the flagship initiative for Valrie Grant, the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Ambassador, and is positioned as a proof of concept for crowdfunding for entrepreneurs that will be rolled to other areas of the Commonwealth through to 2019.

Why is FundRiseHER™ only for women?

FundRiseHER™ grants are only for women, but there is no gender restriction to benefitting from FundRiseHER™ by contributing services to the rewards based crowdfunding program that will allow entrepreneurs to pre-sell their services.   They will also get the opportunity to build awareness of their brands through this global initiative.

Why then is FundRiseHER™ grants only for women?

FundRiseHER™ is a women’s economic empowerment initiative.  It is well established that women, more than men, are significantly underfunded as entrepreneurs.  FundRiseHER™ is seeking to do its part to facilitate greater gender parity in that regard and to improve the opportunities for women to get worthy ventures funded.  The OECD says it best:  “women’s economic empowerment and their ownership and control of productive assets speeds up development, help overcome poverty” inter-alia, and that they “typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men”.

Who is FundRiseHER™ for?

FundRiseHER™ is being launched for the Caribbean market.  The funds raised will create grants for women entrepreneurs who are domiciled in the participating countries in the Caribbean.  Our next step will however to expand the initiative to other areas of the Commonwealth with Asia & Pacific and Africa being next in the line up.

What is the relevance of 1:10:50?

We are seeking to raise $1Million through crowdfunding campaigns launched on behalf of at least 10 countries to create funding for at least 50 women entrepreneurs.

How will the funding be allocated to the countries?

Each country will launch its own crowdfunding campaign and the funding they receive will be allocated to the funding of entrepreneurs in the country.

Which countries are participating in FundRiseHER™ Caribbean?

At start up we will be working with:  Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, OECS (Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines), Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago.

Can any other countries in the Caribbean join FundRiseHER™?

We are still working to cement a deal with Haiti.  However, beyond that, we have closed off additional country entrants in this round.  We will however be accepting expressions of interest and these will be taken into consideration when the program is repeated.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the process of raising money on the internet, using social media to attract small donations from multiple funders, and pooling these donations to fund a cause or project.

What is rewards-based crowdfunding?

Rewards-based crowdfunding involves the creation of rewards that are offered in exchange for funds contributed to a crowdfunding campaign.   A typical rewards-based crowdfunding campaign will have several tiers of rewards, with each tier offering a specific bundle of services at a specific price.  It is a model that allows for the pre-selling of goods or services.

Why is FundRiseHER™ called a rewards-based crowdfunded grant?

The source of funding for FundRiseHER™ is being raised using rewards-based crowdfunding on pitchandchoose.com and the amounts of monies raised will be disbursed as grant funds to women entrepreneurs in the participating countries.

Why not just straight donations-based crowdfunding?

FundRiseHER™ is more than the actual crowdfunding campaign.  It is a program that is engaging community to grow the economy through self-funding.  Pivotal to this is to ignite and fortify the pay-it-forward culture.  By using rewards-based crowdfunding model, corporations and entrepreneurs can support other entrepreneurs and also benefit by pre-selling of services and/or through their sponsorship align themselves with an initiative that favours the growing of the economy through increased access to capital.

In what ways can you support FundRiseHER™

There are several ways to support FundRiseHER™, namely:

  • contribute rewards to the crowdfunding campaign.
  • provide sponsor support to fund the creation of rewards for the campaigns.
  • provide corporate sponsorship as a cash donation to the program
  • Say YES! and become a RiseHER™ as a philanthropist pledging $1,000 in cash directly towards the grant fund.
  • Pledge your time or talent to your local campaign administrators, the FundRiseHER Country Affiliate, to help them build and promote the local crowdfunding campaign.
  • Share and promote the campaign and program, online and offline.
  • Contribute to the crowdfunding campaign when launched and ask your friends, family and everyone in your network to support it with their contribution and/or share.

What rewards are being offered and how will they be funded?

Each country will design their rewards structure in keeping with their local context.  They will also be reaching out to entrepreneurs to seed the campaign by pledging complimentary rewards where their service type is offered

In the campaign design, the rewards tiers will be predetermined and then entrepreneurs will be approached to seed the campaign.  These entrepreneurs who fund the rewards will be the campaign seeders and they can contribute in two ways:

  • pledge complimentary services to be pre-sold in a specific tier bundle; and/or
  • provide cash to pre-purchase from entrepreneurs whose service type is identified in the bundle.

What types of rewards will be offered?

Rewards offered in the crowdfunding campaigns will be primarily services that can be delivered electronically or creatively.   The types of rewards will vary by country and the local context as the key determinant will be the types of services being offered by entrepreneurs in each market.

What are the benefits of becoming a RiseHER™

When you become a RiseHER™, you join the RiseHER™ club which entitles you to a few benefits including:

  • Posting of your picture and your Say Yes! pledge as a RiseHER™
  • Access to the community of RiseHERs through a private facebook group.
  • Access through CBW to a network of women owned businesses

Is there anything special that I should know about applying for the grant?

The full details of the application process is available at www.fundriseher.com/apply/applyforagrant

How can you apply for a grant?

The application is available online and the call for grant applications will last 2 weeks.  There will be announcement of the call date one week ahead of the official call.

How can you contribute to the crowdfunding campaign?

The main conduit to accept your campaign donations will be on pitchandchoose.com, using debit, or credit cards of any of the following:  Visa, Mastercard, Amex.

Additionally, in some markets there will be a parallel channel to accept text donations via your local telecoms partner.  The list of countries participating in the text donations and the instructions are available at:  www.fundriseher.com/countries

How will your grant application be assessed?

Through each phase of the application process, you will be expected to demonstrate to the judges why your venture should be funded.  The judges will be expecting you to tell the story of how the funds you are applying will be used to solve a real problem for a specific customer segment in an identified market and that you have the team with the appropriate skills and competence to execute.  You will need to be convincing and to manifest the passion to go the distance to birth the venture.