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Your Ultimate Funding Playbook



This week, we can't believe it's taken us this long to record an episode on all the different ways you can fund your business. We know the reality of the situation all too well - women - especially women of colour, don't only earn less than men in the workforce but are also less likely to get access to capital for their businesses. It's wild, but it's exactly why we're digging into the 7 ways you can approach funding (that you might not have considered yet). We also cover how you decide whether the bootstrapped or funded approach is the best for you, and any advice for founders who are struggling to secure funding for their business right now.


Ever feel like you're totally lost in a maze of funding options? Or you don’t even know what’s possible?



You're not alone. The bright headlines of another multi million dollar fundraise, LinkedIn posts further than you can doom scroll them, and another friend offering their (unsolicited) two cents… It can be easy to forget that before you make any decision on how you’re going to fund your business, it's crucial to pause and reflect on what you truly want for your business and your life.


Consider this: What are your long-term goals? Are you aiming for rapid growth and a potential exit strategy, or do you prefer a more sustainable, lifestyle business where you call the shots? Understanding your own aspirations and personality type is the first step when it comes to exploring the different options you have to access capital for your biz.


The next thing is to keep in mind that raising capital isn’t the only game in town. There are sooo many different options to explore when it comes to alternative funding sources; like rev-share agreements, borrowing or strategic partnerships - that could also be the key to retaining 100% ownership and control over your business. Let’s break 7 simple options down:


1. SELF-FUNDING

You’re using your personal capital and minimising risk. This can look like money from your 9-5 day job; savings; or liquidating your personal assets (think your wardrobe - and yes I’m totally serious, your car, stocks or even your house).


A great example of this from the show is Priscilla from Bang’n Body; she was so committed to the problem she was solving for women like her that she moved back home with her parents - while working full time to use her 9-5 salary to keep funding the early stages. When she had proof of concept and revenue, she invested $100k savings that was meant for her house deposit. When she finally hit her revenue goals in the business 3 years in, she quit her day job and went full time.


2. GRANTS ✍️

A grant is money that's given to your business by the government, a company or a philanthropist. Most grants are free money – meaning you don't have to pay them back. And often they come with no strings attached (equity-free). We keep a close eye on grants and other opportunities that are relevant to women like you around the world right here in this LIVE doc.


To learn more about how grants can be leveraged in business, Aasiyah from The Renatural has won circa $100k in equity free cash through grant programs, and another $200k in equity grants.


3. CROWDFUNDING 🤗

Crowdfunding is where you raise money from a large group of people who contribute relatively small amounts through your community. You can also go down the path of equity crowdfunding, which is where you sell a portion of your company - say 20% - and your customers and other investors can buy a small piece of your business.


  • Check out Kickstarter & Indigogo for regular crowdfunding campaigns (they have an inbuilt audience too)

  • or for Equity crowdfunding: Birchal and Equitise 

  • (You can also simply run a pre-sale through your own website!)


Ami and Sian from Pleasant State recently raised over $1M from their community & angel investors using Birchal. We hosted a mini series with Ami where she breaks down the good, the bad and the budget!


4. BORROWING 🏦

This is pretty straight forward! Debt is anything that you owe to another person or company, and have to pay back. It has more risk attached to it, and it can be expensive money to put into your biz. This can look like borrowing within your network of friends, family and colleagues; bank loans; credit cards; or lending through a broker. In Australia, Westpac are putting a focus on small business loans for women. 


You can also take your inventory purchase orders to your local bank and access rev based loans based on your PO’s. Which leads us to…


5. REV-BASED FINANCING

Revenue based financing is when you get a loan based on your performance (your online sales, purchase orders > and you pay it back daily with a % of your revenue + interest); it’s 100% data-backed (and bias free). You can use companies like Clearco, Wayflyer, Shopify Capital and PayPal.


Briana from Trio Beauty used Shopify Capital in the beginning to scale her business. Her first loan was for $15,000 for ads - and each day from there they took 15% of sales until it was paid back - and then offer you more! Get the full breakdown here.


6. ACCELERATORS & INCUBATORS 🚀

Now these don’t always come with capital attached but I’m sliding it in because sometimes they do! Accelerators and incubators are designed to help you realise your idea and get it off the ground, or accelerate its growth through mentorship, resources and funding. Think Sephora Accelerate, Startmate & Y Combinator.


A great listen on this is Maeva’s story from Bread Beauty Supply. She went through the Sephora Accelerate Program and is now stocked in Sephora!


7. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST… FUNDRAISING 💰

Raising capital of any kind and getting investment into your business from angel investors or funds means you will have to sell your business at some point (with the expectation you will give your investors a significant return). This can look like:


  • Friends and family round (F&F)

  • Angels & angel syndicates

  • Venture Capital Funds

  • Private Equity Funds

  • + commercial opportunities like Shark Tank!


Bookmark this episode with Sarah from Contour Cube! She generated $1.6M in sales and then sought investment ($250k on Sharktank!).


Now, let's hear from an angel investor, shall we? 😇 “What I’ve learned in my angel investor journey so far is that I’m super drawn to founders who thrive as a bootstrapped founder. There’s just something undeniable about the scrappy, lean biz owner who makes it work against all odds and gets creative on a shoestring budget before raising capital.” Doone Roisin.


So, whether you're laser focused on raising from VC’s or embracing the bootstrapped-approach-lifestyle-biz, remember this: this part of your journey is as much about self-discovery as it is about business success. Remember to trust your instincts and stay true to your vision.



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