Today is International Women’s Day and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the amazing women-led ventures that have run successful campaigns on StartSomeGood over the past year. Each of the ladies below is truly an inspiration and StartSomeGood is so proud to have supported them on their paths to success.
Do Good Bus
Do Good Bus Tour with Foster the People, $101,781 raised
Rebecca led the Do Good Bus campaign to overwhelming success. The bus takes people on board and empowers them to take action and really become do-gooders in their communities. The Do Good Bus partnered with the popular band, Foster the People, to tour 22 North American cities at the end of 2011. Along the way, the bus stopped in each city to pick up local do-gooders and help them support their communities.
"It’s very exciting to be a part of something that has potential to change the world — even if one small step at a time."—Rebecca Pontius
Learn to Live
Let’s Get Learn to Live Off the Ground, $6,925 raised
Yanti is the founder of Learn to Live, an organization that provides primary health care and preventative action plans to the people of North Sulawesi, Indonesia who cannot pay for traditional health services via three-week traveling clinics with teams of doctors, nurses, and medical students from the United States and Australia. When we interviewed Yanti last year, we were so refreshed by her passion for Learn to Live’s cause, “You have to believe 150% in what you want to do, you have to begin writing it down, and think of all the questions you would be asked and answer them. You need to tell people your idea and say it 1,000 times and really believe in it, and see why it is essential to our world today. There are some days when I wonder what I have gotten myself into! Ha, but I guess that’s the whole reason for doing it, you create its own future, it has endless possibilities.”
Creating the Future
Designing Social Change, $2,696 raised
Creating the Future Scholarship Fund, $2,345 raised
Hildy is one exceptionally special individual—a true visionary. We here at StartSomeGood have had the pleasure of watching Hildy lead her organization, Creating the Future, through two different successful campaigns. She calls Creating the Future a “living laboratory” and its mission is to create dramatic, all-encompassing, lasting change in communities by thinking differently about approaches to change initiatives.
When recently asked about the trends that matter in 2012 for StartSomeGood’s ebook, she weighed in, “Words like ‘kindness’ and ‘joyful’ and ‘compassion’ and ‘inclusive’ are beginning to be seen NOT as ‘touchy feely mumbo jumbo’ but as practical ways of being. I see that continuing and growing in the year ahead.”
Priya Nathan and Nikki Lewis,
Partnered for Success
Launch Partnered for Success, $1,500 raised
During their sophomore year at Arizona State University, Nikki and Priya co-founded Partnered for Success, a mentoring and life skills program that supports foster and orphan teenagers so they can successfully age out of the foster system in the Phoenix Valley. Nikki and Priya met as scholars in the Leadership Through Action Program at Arizona State University, where they both realized their mutual passion for making a difference in the lives of foster and orphan youth. The combination of these two powerful forces brought Partnered for Success to fruition. Since then, Nikki and Priya have won the Innovation Challenge at Arizona State University and run a successful campaign on StartSomeGood.
When we asked Nikki what makes an extraordinary entrepreneur, she replied, “An extraordinary entrepreneur can come in a vast array of forms, but all have dedication and passion for what they do that exceeds everything else. That passion is what keeps them going in the face of opposition and struggle. An extraordinary entrepreneur also knows how to capitalize on their network and isn’t afraid to ask for help. They demand the impossible and do what it takes to achieve it.” Nikki, you practice what you preach and both you and Priya are an inspiration—founding an organization while still in school is no easy task. The future looks bright for Partnered for Success with these two talented women at the helm.
Help Students Crowdfund College with Takeashine, $1,503 raised
Sarah is the CEO and founder of Takeashine. As anyone who has taken on the arduous task of applying for financial aid can tell you, there is usually a gap between what the government considers to be your Estimated Family Contribution for college and what you can actually afford to pay. Takeashine is an online crowdfunding platform that helps underprivileged students start online fundraising campaigns so they can afford college. These campaigns will not only help students close the gap, but will also teach them invaluable business and marketing skills. Since finishing up its successful campaign on StartSomeGood, Takeashine has participated in the Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans New Venture Accelerator and officially launched its crowdfunding platform in New Orleans.
When asked about her inspiration as an entrepreneur, Sarah shared these words of wisdom, “I’ve always been a firm believer that vision and action should go hand-in-hand, ‘a little less conversation, a little more action’ (cue Elvis) if you will. Despite any sort of hurdles we’ve faced until this point—or will face in the future as an organization—keeping a singular focus on the deep, profound need that Takeashine is addressing ensures that we’ll continue to grow, improve, and use the power of community to help as many students as possible reach their higher education goals.”
Happy International Women’s Day! How are you celebrating?
Nikki Lewis co-founded Partnered for Success with her partner, Priya Nathan while participating in the Leadership Through Action Program at Arizona State University. Partnered for Success is a mentoring and life skills program for 15 and 16-year-old orphans that are in the foster care system in the Phoenix Valley. The program helps orphans that are about to age out of the foster care system learn to live independently, provides community service opportunities to foster professional development, and connects them with Arizona State University students as mentors. During their campaign to launch Partnered for Success, Nikki and Priya were able to raise $1,500 that will be used to cover costs associated with program implementation such as web development, guest speaker fees, and workbook materials. Recently, Nikki was nice enough to take some time out of her jam-packed schedule to talk to me about the the year ahead for Partnered for Success, the challenges of being a young entrepreneur, and how her partnership with StartSomeGood has been able to help her organization grow.
What inspired you and your partner, Priya to keep this program going beyond the social action project that it started off as for the Leadership Through Action Program at Arizona State University?
We really didn’t see much of an option because our idea necessitated a long-term relationship and commitment, not just a short-lived project. We want to be a stable influence in the lives of the youth we serve. There are not enough programs to fill the need in Arizona and we want to serve as many youth as possible, for as long as possible.
An entrepreneur and still in college—that’s so impressive and inspiring! How do you manage to keep your balance with such a packed schedule?
There have been many semesters during which my co-founder, Priya Nathan, and I have had full class schedules, multiple jobs, and a plate full of extracurricular activities. We keep our balance by staying very organized and stressing open communication. We have timelines, job descriptions, and many to-do lists — and hold each other accountable to follow through on everything. We also have a realistic understanding of the commitment we have made and; therefore, the sacrifices. There have been many times where we opt to have 1 am staff meetings because its the only common time we have in our schedules.
What characteristics do you think define an extraordinary entrepreneur?
An extraordinary entrepreneur can come in a vast array of forms, but all have dedication and passion for what they do that exceeds everything else. That passion is what keeps them going in the face of opposition and struggle. An extraordinary entrepreneur also knows how to capitalize on their network and isn’t afraid to ask for help. They demand the impossible and do what it takes to achieve it.
What made you decide to choose StartSomeGood as a fundraising platform for Partnered for Success?
We were launch partners with StartSomeGood and it was a great opportunity to see such an amazing group of people get their idea off the ground. As an entrepreneur myself, it was inspiring to see other entrepreneurs turn their idea into a reality — and have it succeed. StartSomeGood caters to the needs of social entrepreneurs and works with our capabilities. It allows its users to achieve success regardless of their current resources.
How has Partnered for Success benefited from its campaign on StartSomeGood? Do you have any exciting updates to share? What’s in store for 2012?
Not only did our campaign on StartSomeGood provide us with monetary support and a new network of people who wanted to be a part of our movement, but it was a launching pad for us to gain momentum.
Partnered for Success has many great things in store for 2012. The Partnered for Success pilot program will take place January through May and serve as a tool to refine the program, build support, and increase our presence in the community. In August, the first full program year will commence, serving twice the number of youth. We intend to grow and develop a great deal this year, which will allow us to better serve the youth in our community.
What is the most important piece of advice that you can give ventures about running a campaign on StartSomeGood?
Success will come with creativity and innovation. Highlight what sets your venture apart from its competitors and be genuine, yet concise, with how you get your words across. Also, give thought to the donor gifts you provide.