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?
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.
Earlier this year, Takeashine ran a successful campaign on StartSomeGood to get its website up and running. CEO Sarah Baird shares some exciting updates, her views on Takeashine’s success, what makes a successful entrepreneur, and advice on transforming great ideas into a reality.
It is one thing to have a remarkable idea and another to act on that idea and succeed. What inspired and encouraged you to see your ideas for Takeashine through to fruition?
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.
In your experience, what are the absolute must-haves for someone to become a successful entrepreneur?
I think the best entrepreneurs have a unique balance of creativity and pragmatism, and the ability to fuse these together in a way that ensures the success of their organization.
What do you think made your campaign so successful?
The issue Takeashine is addressing—the college funding gap—is a pressing concern for the majority of families and individuals out there today: whether someone is a parent, recent graduate or young professional. With so many people touched directly by skyrocketing college costs, the opportunity to help in the creation of a platform to allow low-income students to bridge this funding gap was an opportunity to not only change lives, but help support the next generation of community leaders.
As a result of your campaign on StartSomeGood, what goals have you been able to accomplish? Do you have any exciting updates to share with us since your campaign ended?
So many exciting updates: Takeashine is in our fourth month of being incubated through the Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans New Venture Accelerator, and the platform officially launched last week with our pilot class! The campaign on StartSomeGood was definitely the boost we needed to initially get off the ground and begin turning the vision into reality.
Since your campaign was overwhelmingly successful, what insider tips and advice do you have for other social entrepreneurs on how to start and run a successful campaign on StartSomeGood?
I would encourage you to reach out to family and friends for the first initial, small donations: a strong start (and quite a bit of pre-campaign planning) was something I really credit with the success of our campaign. Above all else, I encourage you to allow your passion for your organization and cause to shine through: don’t be shy!
Anything exciting in store for Takeashine?
Yes, so much on the horizon! I encourage everyone to visit Takeashine and see first-hand just what we’re doing right now. In February of 2012, after the pilot class this fall, we will be opening to the entire city of New Orleans, then expanding to three cities a year for the next three years. We’re thrilled about what’s in store, and hope that you (StartSomeGood readers and social-good-makers) will become part of the Takeashine community.
I am a 23-year-old Londoner currently in law school. I have a BA in Politics and International Relations and an LLB in law. I have worked as a Student Facilitator for the British Red Cross, taught at local schools in Berkshire and have done a lot of pro bono legal research for Amnesty International and the Arizona Capital Trials Project. When I finish law school, I hope to start saving the world by working in developmental research and perhaps move to Paris to eat macaroons, dabble in photography and write stories. I’m also an avid reader, white wine drinker and world traveler.