The Celebrity Who Loves Crowdfunding: La La Anthony Hosts New Series Featuring Female Entrepreneurs
It’s been proven that funders clicking through projects on crowdfunding sites seem to prefer early-stage, female-led ventures, and one celebrity is looking to highlight these female entrepreneurs who are changing the face of American business in a new web series.
“Funded in America” is a six-part web series from digital media company SoulPancake and produced in partnership with crowdfunding website Indiegogo and T-Mobile for Business. Celebrity entrepreneur La La Anthony hosts the program, traveling across the United States and featuring women who turned to crowdfunding to start their business.
Each episode follows Anthony as she highlights women across the country, revealing their inspiration behind their thriving businesses. “Funded in America” is unlike other television shows focused on entrepreneurship in America such as ABC’s Shark Tank. Anthony adds human interest and personal anecdotes to every episode, and as an actress, fashion designer, New York Times bestselling author and entrepreneur herself she understands elements of their journey.
However “Funded in America” also allows Anthony and the viewer (or the “crowd” funding the female entrepreneur) to see how each woman’s business personally impacts their target consumer. Anthony reveals the importance of including this element in every episode:
“I didn’t just want to speak about it. I wanted to be about it. I wanted to put these female entrepreneurs in an environment where they could instantly see their product make a difference. ”
Case in point: episode one features Fatimah Hussein and Jamie Glover of ASIYA. The two Minneapolis women crowdfunded nearly $40,000 and helped pioneer the movement to create sports hijabs for Muslim female athletes. Their mission was to help enable physical activity for girls regardless of religion.
After sharing their company background, Hussein and Glover then join Anthony at a local high school to surprise girls with their signature Sport Hijab, helping the girls to play to their full potential and inspire others.
Anthony credits watching women struggle with their image, self-esteem and self-love as the reason behind her shift from creating lifestyle-focused content to heavier issues such as entrepreneurship and body image. She adds, “I wanted to produce content that highlighted these issues and helped women find their confidence again.”
Future episodes will include such female-led ventures as Brooklyn, NY’s High-Tech Heels, Alameda, CA’s Food Shift and Philadelphia, PA’s Athena. Anthony admits to learning lessons from each female entrepreneur on “Funded in America,” with the largest insight being the importance of patience:
“When you have an idea, you want it to happen overnight. After being around these female entrepreneurs I know that’s not the case. Most great ideas take time to develop.”
Anthony hopes the nation’s next generation of female entrepreneurs turning to crowdfunding for financial support will learn something from these women as well:
“I want women to know that anything is possible. If you’re passionate about an idea, make a plan and don’t give up no matter how many times you hear the word ‘no.’ Every ‘no’ is a step closer to the ‘yes’ that will make your dreams come true. Make sure you know your stuff inside and out so that you’re overly prepared for any meeting you walk into.”
New episodes of “Funded in America” release every Tuesday and can be viewed on SoulPancake’s YouTube channel.
This article originally appeared in Forbes.