This female founder is equity crowdfunding her cannabis company (and absolutely crushing it)
JANUARY 31, 2020
Calling all aspiring and active cannabis entrepreneurs – this interview is for YOU!
I recently had the incredible opportunity to speak with Jane West; Industry Icon, Superconnector, and Total Badass.
If you aren’t acquainted with this absolute queen of cannabis, allow me to give you the sparknotes.
Image via JaneWest.com
Jane’s career was launched into the spotlight in 2014 when her cannabis-friendly cocktail parties gained massive media attention and she was forced to resign from her day job in corporate event planning. From there she went on to co-found Women Grow and start her own glassware, travel and CBD collections. In 2018 she closed her first equity crowdfunding campaign that raised $189,000 from 550 investors across 17 countries – and, she’s back for round 2 of fundraising. Her company, Jane West, is 80% owned by women and people of color. Incredible.
Now, if equity crowdfunding isn’t something you’re familiar with, you’re not alone. When it comes to raising money for your budding biz, you might know about taking a loan for the bank or pitching your idea to a team of VCs a la shark tank.
Equity ( shares in a company) crowdfunding (taking small sums of money from a big group of supporters) means that average people like you and I can help fund a growing business while receiving a percentage stake in the company. Pretty cool, right?
Jane West just broke the exciting news that she’s raising another equity crowdfunding round, which inspired me to reach out for more details. Let’s dive into the interview.
Image via JaneWest.com
B: Jane, thanks for taking the time to chat today! You’re a very widely recognized female in cannabis. What’s the secret sauce behind building such a strong personal brand?
Jane: I wish there was an easy formula that other people could simply apply. But for me, I try to be constantly breaking new ground. Doing something that’s going to make a big impact.
Social media platforms are so fickle and unwelcoming to cannabis that traditional marketing. Advertising isn’t working at all. I have 5,000 friends on Facebook and most of them are highly engaged, but I’ll make a post and get like three likes. That’s not real. I know that’s not real. So since [social media] is a black hole, I don’t put money into it. So, my secret sauce has been being able to leverage earned media. And by earned media, I mean just someone genuinely finding you and talking about what you’re doing.