Noticing the shocking lack of representation in sports, a group of women in Birmingham got together and decided to tackle the statistics themselves. 

It’s hard to believe that only 12.5% of asian women are actively participating in sport. It was statistics like this that led Kiran and Amna to begin GirlDreamer—a platform to empower the next generation of women of colour. They didn’t stop there. In 2017, they also formed Europe’s first WoC Longboarding crew and, through this, the Boarders Without Borders initiative was born! They envisioned a world where they could use sport as a tool for social change and reshape the current narratives around representation. 

Amna Akhtar, GirlDreamer’s co-founder, said, “I have so many personal experiences as a woman of colour and I wanted to use these experiences to provide better opportunities for the next generation of women. Naturally, these thoughts led me to co-found ‘GirlDreamer’.

After already creating two cohorts of boarders from 4 different UK cities, featuring on national news outlets (such as BBC, ITV, and Channel 4), and winning multiple awards for their short documentary film, the minds behind GirlDreamer knew they were on the right track. In their words, “For representation and narratives to change, we need more voices and visibility in the spaces where the power is held.”

With a list of inspirational and empowering goals (including the engagement of 220 women of colour into adventure sports by 2020), they knew they could ensure a bright future for representation. 

To complete their mission, they needed £30,000 and thus their crowdfunding journey began! In fact, they wanted to raise £30k in just 30 days. 

Amna went on to say, I didn’t know much about crowdfunding at all and just assumed it was a way to raise money over the internet. However, during the campaign it made me realise it’s more about community. You gain so many new people who are genuinely interested in your work and want to be a part of the journey. This really made the 30 day journey a lot more personal and wholesome to know that people I didn’t know were supporting the campaign by sharing on their own platforms and investing their time and energy into spreading the word. I’ve learnt that crowdfunding is so much more than raising money, it’s definitely all about community and harnessing the power of people.”

More than just funding

With a community made up of 463 supporters, they went on to raise £30,624 in 30 days.

They were also part of our Big Impact programme—a unique programme designed to help projects which are driving a significant positive change! Through this, they received exclusive one-to-one guidance, marketing advice, and dedicated support from our team!

Natalie Bickle, their expert coach, said, “I first saw the Boarders Without Borders project at the Shextreme Film Festival and thought what they were doing was brilliant. It was clear that they had big ideas and would  be perfectly suited to join the Crowdfunder Big Impact Programme as it’s designed for projects looking to make real change and raise a significant amount of money.”

She continued, “Through taking part in the programme they were able to access the one to one support on offer. This, along with their hard work to network and promote the project, meant they closed successfully, having raised over 30k, and are well on their way to getting 220 women of colour into the sport by 2020!”

A royal shoutout!

After raising over £30k in 30 days, and being featured on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Instagram page for #InternationalYouthDay, Amna left us with her top tips for anyone thinking about crowdfunding for their own dream!

  • “Do a write up of exactly why you are considering to crowdfund, how you’re going to do it and what/who you’re going to need. 
  • Have all your branding and marketing material ready and scheduled before you launch.
  • Don’t be afraid to be open and let people understand the true meaning behind what hitting the target will mean to you.
  • Use the analytics tool on your Crowdfunder dashboard during your campaign to see which social media tools are bringing in most people.
  • Have a few key people lined up to kickstart your Crowdfunder, pick it up during the middle and be on hand if you need a helping hand towards the end.
  • Be out and about and spread awareness in different ways. Social media/online is great, but word of mouth is equally powerful.

Is your project driving significant social change? You could be eligible to take part in our Big Impact programme! Don’t forget to check out the extra-funding available in your area!