FundRiseHER launched for region’s female entrepreneurs

Monday, August 08, 2016

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FEMALE entrepreneurs in Jamaica are to benefit from a Caribbean-wide funding campaign aimed at assisting them to raise capital for their business ventures.

The campaign, dubbed FundRiseHER, was launched recently at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

It seeks to raise US$1 million to benefit 50 women entrepreneurs from at least 10 Caribbean countries. This will be done through crowd funding, which is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people.

The regional initiative kicked off at the Caribbean Community heads of government conference in Guyana on July 5.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid endorsed the project, noting that it has the potential to drive economic growth.

Senator Reid, who represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the launch, said FundRiseHER "will provide Caribbean women entrepreneurs with international visibility and a high profile, as well as open doors to attracting follow-on investment".

"Female entrepreneurs have the power to spark economic growth, create jobs, drive progress and create businesses to solve some of the world’s greatest problems," he noted further.

Meanwhile, co-founder of FundRiseHER, Cecile Watson, said the power of the initiative goes beyond the 50 women entrepreneurs for whom grant funds of between US$10,000 and US$25,000 are to be provided.

"It is also about the entrepreneurs, who will come forward to contribute their services as rewards and who will bring attention to their businesses for having done so," she said, noting that corporate sponsors and philanthropists will put up matching funds and/or purchase services from entrepreneurs as rewards.

"But, ultimately, it is about building the crowd funding industry so that Caribbean people can gain familiarity with and engender support for this alternative funding methodology through which they can raise capital for their businesses and also their worthy causes and ventures," she explained.

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