The National Women’s Business Council Releases Reports on Success Factors for Women Business Owners’ Use of Crowdfunding

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The National Women’s Business Council analyzed Kickstarter and Kiva data to identify the key determinants of success for women business owners and entrepreneurs.

Crowdfunding as a Source of Capital for Women Entrepreneurs

The National Women’s Business Council released two new research reports commissioned to identify the key determinants of success for women entrepreneurs, which would facilitate a better understanding of the policy implications of crowdfunding and its promise for small business finance in the U.S. To do this, the Council examined two crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Kiva. Crowdfunding as a Capital Source for Women Entrepreneurs: Case Study of Kiva, a Non-profit Lending Crowdfunding Platform and Crowdfunding as a Capital Source for Women Entrepreneurs: Case Study of Kickstarter, a Reward- Based Crowdfunding Platform analyze the role of an entrepreneur’s/small business owner’s online social network and examine additional factors that may affect success rates in crowdfunding such as funding goal or length of campaign. Download the full reports and review other research on access to capital at

Some of the most notable results from both research reports include the following:

  • The first 30 days of campaigns matter the most. On Kickstarter, as a fundraising campaign gets closer to its end, and especially after the first 30 days, the likelihood of success decreases substantially.
  • Setting a realistic goal is essential. The funding goal should take into account a borrowers’ network size. On Kiva, for women with a smaller online network, greater success might be achieved by setting a goal less than $6,000.
  • Your personal stories are powerful tools for reaching your funding goals. On Kiva, longer personal stories were associated with higher likelihood of success compared to other textual pitch categories.
  • Network size matters, but how it is leveraged is more important. Both the number of Facebook shares and number of Facebook followers are predictors of success on Kickstarter, but the number of Facebook shares has notably larger effect on success rates.

Social networking provides women entrepreneurs interested in crowdfunding with a unique opportunity to share their projects and ideas with their networks, interact with them, receive their feedback, and most importantly leverage their networks to promote their projects. At NWBC, we strive to continue to encourage women project creators to leverage their existing networks and networking skills, regardless of their network size.


About NWBC
NWBC is a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress and the White House on issues of impact and importance to women business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs. To learn more about NWBC, visit

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Laura Meditz
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