- Issue Activation Kit -
The New Way to Build Business 

Crowdfunding - the practice of getting small donations from a large number of people - has become a powerful engine to support entrepreneurs and their startups - think Kickstarter. These platforms have continued to evolve to support big and small ideas. But they have been limited to donations by small donors or investments by large entities or wealthy individuals - not as helpful for small businesses in the neighborhood. 

But that is about to change. 

Last month as a part of President Obama's bipartisan JOBS Act small investors can now participate in equity crowdfunding. This changes a longstanding SEC requirement that investors backing private companies make at least $200,000 a year and have a net worth of $1 million or more. This. Is. Big. This kind of crowdfunding opens up a new pool of capital not previously available to entrepreneurs and small businesses. For women and people of color who have struggled to receive funding from wealthy individuals, private equity or angel funding as well as commercial lending from banks, this is a tremendous opportunity to grow their business. Now entrepreneurs can reach out to customers, other local businesses and individuals who want to invest in their neighborhood. Small businesses have been responsible for a majority of all new jobs over the last decade, So a job in the neighborhood doesn't just drive economic prosperity it strengthens community stability. 

In Chicago small businesses like the co-work space The Shift and the entrepreneurs at Wistem out of1871 are already poised to use equity crowdfunding to grow their businesses. So find your favorite local or women owned small business and use equity crowdfunding to Get Off the Sidelines!

Bridget Gainer
Founder, Off the Sidelines Chicago

 What is Equity Crowdfunding? 

Equity crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a business by offering company equity in return for investments from many individuals. New SEC rules now permit anyone, not just the wealthy, to invest $2,000 a year or more in small companies in exchange for a stake in the business. Companies can raise up to $1 million a year this way.






Off the Sidelines Chicago is inviting all of Chicago's Young Feminists (14-20 yrs. old) to discuss the pressing issues effecting their generation at our FREE half day conference. Join us in empowering Chicago's youth to stand up, speak out and get Off the Sidelines.