On Episode 21 of the podcast, Rod speaks with Karen Cahn, an entrepreneur and pioneer in the digital media space. With extensive experience at AOL, Google, and YouTube, Karen is the founder and CEO of iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses and their creative ideas.
Karen shares with Rod on the podcast how she has always been “very passionate about women being paid for their work.” She says she was “always very aware at the inequities and the systematic disparities in all professions...and how that affected us in terms of creating this massive confidence gap that we feel in the workplace, in entrepreneurship, and in life.”
This passion mixed with her experiences led her to create iFundWomen whose mission is to close the extreme funding and confidence gap that exists today for female entrepreneurs. Every piece of iFundWomen goes back to this mission. “We want women to win, end of story,” Karen says to Rod.
Karen talks with Rod at length about the challenges that female entrepreneurs face. She says the data is that only about 2.5% of venture funding goes to women. However, when female entrepreneurs are able to overcome the confidence gap and get funded, data shows that they are generally more successful than male entrepreneurs.
So iFundWomen comes alongside women, assisting them in getting access to funding as well as offering free mentoring and coaching for crowdfunding. As long as the female entrepreneur is legitimate and able to deliver on campaign promises, every type of work and topic is welcome on the platform, from nonprofits to farm-to-table restaurants to jewelry makers.
iFundWomen was actually Karen’s second startup. She shares in the interview how her first startup was a failure. She says,“I love telling the story because I find failure to be a learning experience… a valuable life experience. I don't find failure to be a negative. If you don't fail, it means you didn't try.”
Karen discusses why her first startup failed, as well as the valuable lessons she learned from the experience and how they contributed to the success of iFundWomen. Today, iFundWomen has pages and pages of incredible projects, started by women, and plans for growth in community-based iFundWomen cohorts.
“We want to teach women to jump in the pool. It's okay if you fail….We want you to win, but it's okay to fail. Just go and try,” Karen says. Check out the rest of the podcast for more inspiration, details on iFundWomen, and Karen’s experience and insights.