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030 - Vegan crowdfunding follow-up with Happy Carrot Skincare and Primary Veducation

How two of our Vegan Business Tribe members hit their crowdfunding target. We recently teamed up with CrowdfunderUK to take a group of our Vegan Business Tribe members through a crowdfunding programme. In this episode, we follow-up with Victoria from Happy Carrot Skincare and Laura from Primary Veducation about how they hit their targets. What is really interesting though is where the money came from. For Victoria, she already knew most of the people who backed her project or they were already customers. For Laura, the majority of the backers were complete strangers.

David speaks to both about how they decided how much money they thought they could raise, how they kept the momentum going through their campaigns and what they would do differently if they were trying to hit bigger targets.

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Episode transcript

Hello and welcome to episode thirty of The Vegan Business Tribe Podcast with myself David Pannell, co-founder of Vegan Business Tribe.  If you have a vegan business, or are thinking of starting one, then Vegan Business Tribe is here to support and inspire you not just to build a vegan business, but to build a SUCCESSFUL vegan business.

And if you want to go beyond the podcast and connect with our community of like-minded vegan entrepreneurs then head over to Vegan Business Tribe .com where you can get more involved in our community and help support our mission.  You can also attend our online meet-ups, get support from Lisa and I with your vegan business, study our vegan marketing course and just be part of a wonderful community of vegan business people just like you.  And we’re always really grateful to our members because they are the people who mean we can keep recording this podcast every week and putting out all our content and just generally doing everything we can to support vegan business worldwide.

Now, those of you who are subscribers to our email or signed up to the website will know that we recently partnered up with Crowdfunder UK to take a group of our members through their first crowdfunding campaign.  I know some of you even backed some of the campaigns which was amazing.  17 companies went through the programme which raised over twenty thousand pounds worth of backing – and the members also received extra coaching and support, both from us at Vegan Business Tribe but also from the team at Crowdfunder.  And if you want to know everything we learnt, I learnt, they learnt, then go jump back to episode 24 where I spent a full 45 minutes spilling all the beans about how crowdfunding works.  You can also go take a look at the Crowdfunding section of the Vegan Business Tribe website where you can watch back recordings of the sessions we did with the Crowdfunder team and the meet-ups we put on and lots of other good stuff!

But, I also wanted to do a follow-up to bring you two twenty-minute interviews with two of our members who successfully hit their crowdfunding targets.  And we’ve singled-out Victoria from Happy Carrot Skincare and Laura from Primary Veducation because they were two stand-out stars of the crowdfunding programme that really made it work for them but at the same time have been exceptionally honest about how much work they had to put it to hit their funding targets.  And in a way, these are two stories of two very different companies achieving the same goal but in different ways.  It’s also a story of two very small vegan companies raising the absolute maximum that they thought they could raise from the audiences they had – and we’re not talking massive amounts of money here.  Victoria was looking to raise just one and a half thousand pounds and Laura was raising three thousand pounds.  Those figures came from going through the crowdfunding programme first and working out a realistic amount of money they could look to raise with the audience and the communication channels and the platforms that they had already built up.  And this is really important, to ANYONE who is thinking about Crowdfunding, that raising money as a new, not even launched, unknown, unconnected company, is going to be ridiculously hard.

And we will hear some of this from Victoria and Laura in the following interviews – but what’s also worth paying attention to is WHERE the money came from in both campaigns.  For Victoria, she already knew most of the people who backed her project.  They were already customers, or linked with her in some way.  For Laura, the majority of the backers were complete strangers.  And this difference comes down to the different missions that both these companies are on.  Victoria at Happy Carrot makes amazing (and I mean amazing, just ask Lisa – the other, better half of VBT), but Victoria makes amazing vegan, only plant ingredients, skin-care products.  But at the end of the day, even though Vitoria’s product will change someone’s life, especially if they are dealing with acne or complex skin issues, she is still selling a product.  So people evaluate the money they are giving against the product they will receive, meaning it’s more like to be people who have already got a relationship with the product who will be the ones that back the crowdfunder.

Whereas Laura and Primary Veducation is helping to make schools more inclusive for vegan children – and if you have a child who has faced difficulties with their school, then THAT is a project that you only have to hear about once to be happy to support.  Which is why Laura had complete strangers who were backing her crowdfunder, and Victoria received her backing from people who were already on a journey with her and her products.  And that’s not to take anything away from either company at all – both Victoria and Laura have become good friends during their time as members of Vegan Business Tribe and both are doing amazing things to move the vegan scene forwards in their own areas of expertise.  But how people connected with their crowdfunding campaigns was very different, and it’s worth taking what you can learn from each if you are looking to run a successful campaign yourself.

Before we go jump into the interviews, one more thing that is worth saying, is that I end each asking what they would do if they were now going to look at raising bigger sums of money.  And if you ARE looking at going beyond raising a few thousand pounds – then also on the website we do have some interviews with people who have raised a LOT more, especially if you go to the website and search for Mike Hill from One Planet Pizza.  Mike and his son raised £20,000 through equity-based crowdfunding before they had even sold a single pizza and they have since gone on to do many more rounds of crowdfunding and attracted investors and he tells us exactly how he did it.

OK, so I’m going to start with Victoria from Happy Carrot Skincare who I talked to just hours after her campaign closed.

[…Pre-recorded interview with Victoria…]

And as Victoria said there at the end, putting the money aside, going through a crowdfunder is a real test of your businesses and puts the spotlight on what is working and what’s not working – and sometimes being able to figure all that out can be actually worth more than the money you’re looking to raise.  OK, try and keep those points that Vitoria made in your mind as we now go to Laura from Primary Veducation who is working to make schools more inclusive for vegan children.  And again, we chatted about her experience just as Laura had completed her crowdfunder and hit her target.

[…Pre-recorded interview with Laura…]

And that was brilliant listening back to both those interviews again.  As we said earlier – Laura actually had quite a different journey but still emphasised those same points of constancy, of collaborating with others, and of using your deadline to get the people who WANT to help you but just keep getting distracted by other things.

And again, if you want more info on Crowdfunding then go back and listen to episode 24 of the podcast where we do a real deep-dive into what everyone learned from the programme; we’ve also got all the recordings on the Vegan Business Tribe website of the sessions we did with CrowdfunderUK and with the members who were on the programme – some you need to be a paid member to watch back others are part of our free content.  And if you are just thinking about all the different ways you can fund your vegan business at the moment, you can also watch some longer interviews and panel session where we feature Mike Hill from One Planet Pizza about the funding rounds he’s been through, Claire Smith who is a vegan impact investor and founder of Beyond Animal, and Nick Mayhew who is a specialist in more traditional funding options for vegan businesses. Again, you’ll find all those on the Vegan Business Tribe website.

And if you’re thinking about doing a crowdfunding campaign yourself, then get in touch with us through the Vegan Business Tribe website because we will, probably, likely, run the programme again taking what we learned from this year’s campaign to go even bigger and better next time.  So if you’d like to be involved with that just let us know.

And that is it – and just to remind you that really useful, no-holds-barred insight was from Victoria from Happy Carrot Skincare, and you can buy her amazing plant-only skincare products on Happy Carrot Skincare .com – and Laura from Primary Veducation, and you can follow her mission of making schools more inclusive for vegan children at Primary  And just to add a little PS that Laura has now welcomed Ruby Rose into the world, a healthy 8 pounds 7 ounces baby girl and both Lisa and I would like to give mother, baby, father and big sister our absolute, very best wishes.

Right – one very last thing before I let you go: if you’ve listened right to the end, then that means you found this information either really helpful or really interesting.  Imagine if we got more of this kind of knowledge, support and advice into the hands, ears and heads of other vegan business owners – what a difference will that make to the vegan business scene?  And that’s exactly what I want you to help me do.  The simplest and easiest thing you can do if you’re feeling lazy is by simply subscribing to this podcast – because that shows the platform that people think we’re worth listening to.  The second you can do, is if you’re listening on iTunes or a platform that lets you leave a review – once we’ve finished just give us a little 5 star review and that really helps gets us in front of more people.  And then the last thing you can do – and this is just for the people who really want to help us skill-up the grass-roots vegan businesses so that they can knock a non-vegan business or product off the shelf – but if you can SHARE our podcast, then that has such a massive impact to the number of people we can help.  So you can share it directly – eg, if you know another vegan business just send them a link to the podcast page on the Vegan Business Tribe website or a link to Spotify – but you can also share it in the vegan Whatsapp group you belong to, or the vegan LinkedIn group, or your local vegan business Facebook group, or just on your own social media account – and if you do this then tag us in and we’ll happily give you a shoutout out too if we manage to catch it!

So, thank you so much for your time, we always appreciate you giving up your time to listen, go share the podcast if you can, go take a look at signing up on the website if you’re able, and I will see you on the next one.

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