It's been a good week for the passionate entrepreneurs who work to improve the lives of the next generation - Adafruit CEO and founder Limor Fried was announced as Entrepreneur magazine's 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year. She was truly inspirational on the cover of Wired magazine last year - but the Entrepreneur magazine cover this month went to another prominent entrepreneur - Nastygal CEO and founder Sophia Amoruso.
Here are women entrepreneurs working hard to empower people to make change happen in the world through crowdfunding - from funding student projects to loved ones' medical bills, check out these female founders to watch building solutions to help crowdfund the dreams of the next generation:
Andrea Lo (Founder & CEO, Piggybackr)
Education-minded entrepreneur Andrea Lo launched Piggybackr to teach young people how to fundraise online for their projects. Think "Kickstarter for students" - Piggybackr helps teens raise money for a cause, from academic to extracurricular. Follow her on Twitter at @andreatlo.
Candace Klein (Founder & CEO, SoMoLend & Bad Girls Ventures After launching Bad Girl Ventures to educate and finance women-led ventures, Candace Klein founded SoMoLend to connect business borrowers seeking loans with lenders looking to make a return on investment. Follow her on Twitter at @SoMoLend.
Danae Ringelmann (Founder, IndieGoGo) With an idea to set up a fund for independent films, Danae Ringelmann met her IndieGoGo co-founders in business school and developed an online marketplace for filmmakers to raise financing. IndieGoGo raised $16M in funding to date. Follow her on Twitter at @gogodanae.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley (Co-Founder & CEO, GiveForward) Civic-minded Desiree Vargas Wrigley started GiveForward to empower friends and family to send love and financial support to patients as they navigate a medical crisis. GiveForward raised $2M Series A financing earlier this year. Follow her on Twitter at @DesireeGF.
Jessica Jackley (Co-Founder, Kiva) A social entrepreneur -turned venture partner at Collaborative Fund, Jessica Jackley co-founded Kiva, the world's first peer-to-peer microlending website. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicajackley.
Maz Kessler (Founder & Creative Director, Catapult) To address the global problem of gender inequality, Maz Kessler launched Catapult, a crowdfunding platform that supports projects advancing the lives of girls and women around the world, on the first International Day of the Girl Child. Follow her on Twitter at @mazkessler.
Women 2.0 readers: What crowdfunding platforms have you used to raise funds or provide funds for others? Let us know in the comments below.
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.