ASC adopts crowdfunding rule

Women are significantly moresuccessful than men when it comes to raising money in crowdfunding campaigns, according to a new report.

The report, issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (PwC) and the Crowdfunding Centre found that women are consistently more successful than men in reaching their fundraising goals in seed crowdfunding campaigns.

The study analyzed more than 450,000 crowdfunding campaigns from nine of the largest global crowdfunding platforms. It found that that female-led campaigns are 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than campaigns led by men. It also reports that female-led projects achieve a greater average pledge amount than male-led projects.

The report notes that the outperformance of female-led campaigns is evident in all sectors and in all geographical regions. For example, in both the U.S. and the U.K., about 20% of male-led campaigns reach their funding goal, compared with 24% for women in the U.S. and 26% for women in the U.K. Female-led projects also are consistently more successful in Africa and other emerging markets, it states.

In addition, the report found that in traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as technology, women are still more successful than men at raising funding.

“Female crowdfunding success is in stark contrast to established funding mechanisms for business startups and growth in which women-led businesses continue to face barriers to accessing finance,” says Barry James, co-founder and CEO of The Crowdfunding Centre.

“Who could have expected that when the middlemen are removed from the equation, and women and men entrepreneurs get equal and direct access to the market, it would turn out that women would, immediately and decisively, outperform the men, across the board?”

Despite the higher success rates for female-led projects, the report found that men are more likely to launch seed crowdfunding campaigns. For example, it notes, only 11% of the campaigns that have raised more than US$1 million were led by a woman.

“This report aims to create visibility of the potential barriers that female-led businesses and entrepreneurs appear to have long faced in accessing finance, highlighting that opportunities for women entrepreneurs do not seem to have been equal,” says Sharmila Karve, PwC global diversity leader. “But thanks to crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can now access the market directly — and this makes a huge difference.

“Significant opportunity still remains for women to become more active and represented in crowdfunding and to be more ambitious when establishing their finance raising goals,” Karve adds. “We hope the success of female crowdfunders highlighted in this report motivates more budding and established female entrepreneurs to explore crowdfunding and invoke confidence and belief in their entrepreneurial talent and opportunities.”

The use of seed crowdfunding has grown significantly in recent years, the report notes, raising more than US$767 million in 2016, up from US$10 million in 2009.

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