What happens when two women who spent their entire careers focused on micro finance and assisting start-ups, decide to start a venture that will help women fund new businesses. Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes first met at IBM in the 1980s. They each went on to different career paths but both were always involved with small businesses whether through non profits or education.
Brenda in Dallas and Nancy in San Francisco, the two stayed in touch and began to talk about a business that funded women-owned ventures. Working with a software company, they developed the platform needed to create a crowd funding site to do just that. Using a play on the word money, and hoop, relating to circling in, they named the new venture Moola-Hoop.
So how does it work. Collaborating with Brenda and Nancy, women entrepreneurs define their business project and create videos, choose photos and develop detailed descriptions about their businesses on moola-hoop.com. They set a funding goal and an end date for the campaign. Each project includes an outline of non-monetary “rewards” at each level of contribution for the supporters to choose from.
“We started a month ago and with the word spreading, women are reaching out to us.” While any type of business can use this source for funding, they find a large percentage of the women who come to them are in food or fashion.
Being a reward based crowd-funding program, projects on Moola-Hoop offer varying levels of rewards for different levels of support. Brenda and Nancy work with the client to create the hierarchy of the reward scale. Let’s say a project needs $5,000 to build a web site. Rewards could read like this, “Donate $25 to this venture and get a personal letter of thanks from the founder,” or “Donate $50 and get a t-shirt.” “Donate $100 and get tickets to the launch party.” The possibilities are endless for what the rewards could be – a book, a t-shirt, the product, a phone call, lunch with the woman entrepreneur. Brenda and Nancy are targeting women who need between $5,000 and $50,000.
When a woman comes to Moola-Hoop, the first step is to look at the viability of being successful. Unlike other crowd funding sites, Moola-Hoop will set a half way point that allows for funding. The more interesting the woman’s story, the better. The number of followers a potential client has in the traditional social media channels, plays a big part in whether or not they feel the campaign will succeed.
“Because we expect 40% of the funding to come from the woman’s own network of people, we need to see an interesting story to sell and a strong platform that they can work from. Once we craft the request, we help them put it out to their network.” Brenda and Nancy then push out the need to the Moola-Hoop network they have created for potential funding.
Brenda and Nancy have had years of experience with micro financing and are adept at creating the basics of a request. Moola-Hoop takes a small percentage of the capital raised once the project is funded. “We spend a lot of time in crafting the request, from the description, the creation of the reward scale, a video of the woman explaining her capital needs, an email campaign, to a social media plan. That’s the most fun.”
Contact: www.moola-hoop.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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