Faace founder Jasmine Wicks-Stephens says more female entrepreneurs are turning to securities crowdfunding. Citing research by the European Investment Bank (EIB), Wicks-Stephens notes that female entrepreneurs secured just 1% of venture capital last year – even though female founders tend to perform well, failing less often than male-founded firms. In light of this fact, Wicks-Stephens is raising growth capital online with a funding round listed on Seedrs for her skincare brand.
“Crowdfunding doesn’t just help address investing inequity; it also helps even the odds for female founders. Female entrepreneurs are typically less likely than men to get investment for their ventures, however female-led campaigns on crowdfunding platforms were found to be 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than male-led campaigns”, says Wicks-Stephens, adding that they have been inspired by fellow female-led brands in the fem-care spaces like DAME and Upcircle who have experienced success with overfunded crowdfunding campaigns.
Wicks-Stephens shares advice as to how female founders can fund their firms, stating confidence is key, telling aspiring female entrepreneurs to “shout about your business” and network with other founders.
She says that when pitching for growth capital, female founders have been found to be more conservative in their revenue forecast than men, which can undermine their funding success.
“It’s really important to be confident in yourself and your business, and while you don’t want to swing the other way and over-promise on sales projections, don’t underestimate your trajectory either,” says Wicks-Stephens.
At the same time, don’t look at promoting your business as bragging or desperate.
“You’d be surprised by how many opportunities can come your way just by sharing with your network what you’re up to. LinkedIn is a really useful (and often underutilised) platform when it comes to sharing about your business – namely because you’re getting the right eyes on your posts, i.e., people in your industry who can help the growth of your business.”
And always look to others with similar experience, Wicks-Stephens recommends. Build a network of female founders and “consider them your teammates rather than rivals,” even if they are competitors.
At the same time, Wicks-Stephens advises that you need to be strategic with your funding rounds.
“You need to have a really good handle on your financials when it’s time to look for investors. You don’t want to start desperately pitching for funding because you’ve run out of money, it doesn’t help your cause one bit as investors will want to know you can manage your finances. Be strategic and keep assessing where you are, and where you want to be, so that when you present your figures to potential investors, they can see you’re following a well thought out expansion strategy.”
As for Faace, until the current round Wicks-Stephens has been bootstrapping the firm. The funding round on Seedrs is aiming to raise just £150,000 in an equity offering with a pre-money valuation of £1.3 million. The offering is a Seedrs Nominee structure and EIS-approved. So far, 136 individual investors have invested in the company. Faace is already generating revenue and says it is being sold in 59 different retailers.
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