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Female Founders and Entrepreneurs Paying It Forward — Part 2

Highlighting women business owners who are giving back locally and globally.

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Kate Anderson of iFundWomen
Kate Anderson of iFundWomen

After two years speaking with women business owners, we were impressed by the numbers of women who share their good fortune with those around them. Last week, we shared the stories of three female entrepreneurs who are giving back. Here are the stories of a few more women working to make the world a better place.

CHANGING THE CROWDFUNDING ECOSYSTEM FOR WOMEN

Kate Anderson, along with her co-founders Karen Cahn and Sarah Sommers, started iFundWomen with one goal in mind — to put money into the hands of female entrepreneurs. This crowdfunding resource helps women raise the capital they need to get their businesses off the ground and then keep it growing. Kate said, “We live in an amazing time where the convergence of social media and the ability to raise money online has elevated women’s stories. Elevating more women into leadership roles by giving them the funding they need to launch and grow successful businesses will change that picture of what a CEO can and ‘should’ look like.” But iFundWomen does not just help women crowdsource money, each month they give back 20% of the fees they charge for their service to women using the platform. Kate told us recently “it is everyone’s favorite day of the month.”

MENTORING WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS

In 2014, Lindsay Gordon had what everyone told her was a great job at Google. Although she studied to be a bioengineer, she began her journey with Google in tech support. She later moved to working with new hires and it was there she discovered her love of helping people determine how to fit what they like doing into a job they will love doing. She eventually founded her own career coaching company called A Life of Options in which she uses her analytical brain to help people find the right path. But Lindsay doesn’t just help her clients. If someone is in need of advice, Lindsay is there to offer it. Her way to pay it forward is “always say yes to coffee.” She expanded, “I always say yes to meeting with new business owners or anybody who is thinking about starting a business. I will give them all my time to be able to answer questions, to be able to tell them the reality of what are the awesome parts about a business, what are the not awesome parts about running a business so that they can get all the information they need in order to hopefully thrive.”

IMPROVING THE LIVES OF THE FAMILIES OF FALLEN HEROES

Kelly Parker Smith is a retired third grade teacher who had a big dream to make products and help people in need through The Homebody Society. Kelly was inspired to give back with her business when her cousin, Illinois State Trooper Nick Hopkins, was shot and killed in the line of duty. Now with every sale of her home products, she gives a portion of the proceeds to The Backstoppers. She noted, “The BackStoppers supports families of fallen heroes (police officers, firefighters and EMTs) by paying off all debt, providing health and dental insurance, reimbursing for out-of-pocket medical expenses and assisting with tuition and educational costs from day care through university. They currently support approximately 80 families with 65 dependent children.”

Sisters Amy and Nancy Harrington have been inspired by the #MeToo movement and #TimesUp campaign and decided to use their skills as celebrity interviewers to work to tell a different kind of story. Where many podcasters reserve their airtime for the elite, Amy and Nancy are talking to amazing women you probably haven’t heard of, who are making a huge difference by following their passions. From the founder of a successful ice cream company to a volcano scientist running for office to an artist who makes sculptures using melted down nuclear weapons, Amy and Nancy shine a light on the positive stories of women on The Passionistas Project Podcast and the newly launched Passionistas Project Pack.

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