West Tenth’s app encourages women to start home businesses, not join MLMs – TechCrunch

A new digital marketplace is called West tenth, Now supporting $ 1.5 million in seed funding, wants to give women a platform to start and grow their own home-based businesses. Through their mobile apps, women can promote their businesses to others in the local community, then make inquiries and requests through the app’s integrated messaging platform, as well as finalize transactions via in-app payments Can give.

The startup was co-founded Lynn johnson And Sara Sparkock, Who met when they both worked in finance. Johnson remained in finance, but Sparhawk later moved to work at Amazon.

Johnson explains that her experience led her to better understand women’s economic inequality in the US, where they own only 32 cents for every dollar in financial wealth compared to men. A major driver of this is that women often leave the workforce to raise children, which results in years where they do not earn.

“We’re really good as a society in supporting women on the way out of the workforce to care for their children, but Johnson says it’s really terrible to support them along the way.” “Women know this, and as an alternative to employment that seems to thwart them, they are starting businesses.”

Image Credit: West tenth

Together West tenthThe goal is to encourage such entrepreneurship – and more broadly, to help women realize that many of the talents they develop at home are, in fact, potential businesses.

This includes opportunities such as bakers and cooks at home, photographers, home organizers or designers, home florists, baby sleep consultants, party planning and event services, crafting classes, fitness training, homemade goods, and more.

The company notes that the app is not necessarily closed to men, but the current market for American home businesses is in favor of women as they are more frequent partners who choose to leave work to raise children. However, there are few men on its platform.

Although many of these entrepreneurs today market their home businesses on Facebook, they are missing opportunities to reach customers if they are not heavily involved in local groups and are responding to requests for recommendations. West centralizes local businesses in one location to make search easier rather than tenth.

Image Credit: West tenth

In the application, customers can browse and shop local businesses, by category, through the button at the top of the screen. Results are sorted by distance and provide photos, descriptions and initial prices for the goods or services offered. Through unified messaging, users can reach directly for quotes or more information. Customers can also complete their purchase through Striped Payment Integration of the app. West Tenth takes a 9.5% commission on these sales.

Another important aspect of West Tenth is its education component, The foundry.

Through a $ 100 per quarter membership subscription (or $ 350 per year), business owners will be able to participate in bi-monthly events, on the fundamentals of establishing home-based businesses, marketing, customer acquisition, and other topics Will be focused. For those who wish to pay per session, these classes will be available at a total value of about $ 30.

In addition, attendees will hear from guest speakers who have experience in the home-based business market, and will be able to join mastermind networking groups in exchanging ideas with their peers.

Image Credit: West tenth

This system of combining education and networking with business ownership can potentially help more women become home-based business entrepreneurs, as is common, rather than joining multi-level marketing (MLM) companies.

“When we started it, we recognized that MLM is one of the few industries focused on this demographic of women who have left the workforce – which is a huge, untapped talent pool in America,” Johnson he said. “But they are really hunters. Only the top 1% seller distributors actually make money and lose the rest of the money. And they also lose their social capital. We are actually becoming an alternative to MLM in many ways.”

Not surprisingly, MLM is not allowed on the West Tenth platform.

Image Credit: West tenth

The startup, which completed Kansas City Techstars last summer, has now raised $ 1.5 million in seed funding to land its platform. The round was led by Better Ventures, as well as Stand Together Ventures Lab, Kapital Partners, The Community Fund, Backstage Capital, Wesbush Ventures and Gingells.

The funds will be used to develop the product and increase its user base. In time, West Tenth aims to build product facilities to better expose local businesses. It contains elements of shopping that will let you see what friends are buying and video demonstrations, among other things.

Since 2019, West Tenth has developed its footprint from just over 20 businesses on the app in over 600, hitherto suburban LA and Salt City City. It now aims to target development in Phoenix, Boise and Northern California.

Image Credit: West tenth

The expansion of West Tenth is coming to the tail end of the COVID-19 crisis, where things have gone awry for the traditional employment of women.

School and daycare closures combined with job losses Greatly influenced the roles of women is Now more women are excluded from the workforce Compared with men. And according to McKinseyWomen accounted for about ४६% of the workforce, since the onset of the epidemic, despite making up only ४% of the workforce. This COVID-powered “Rant, “As some have dubbed it, it is also adversely affecting women of color, the study has found.

Johnson says, “We’ve seen 5 million women get out of the workforce – some because they were laid off or were in a bad state, because they were dropping out, because caregiver responsibilities were overshadowed.” . “

“The thing is that when women leave the workforce for caring reasons – for some reason we actually give up and we make it even harder for them to return to work. So I think in the next 18 to 24 months, we will see a big jump in economic activity from home, and try to bring in additional sources of income by running a business from home. “

The West Tenth app is available on both Ios And Android.