How Blockchain Is Creating New Pathways To Prosperity for Women

Web3, also the internet's more “rebellious teenage phase”, has brought with it a more unique, secure, and transparent way of dealing with finance and information, along with new opportunities for everyone, particularly women.

For years, women have faced significant financial disparities, with studies revealing that they earn less than men on average. Women of color, in particular, are even more disadvantaged, earning significantly less than white, non-Hispanic men. The financial industry has also been notoriously male-dominated, with men occupying most of the senior roles. Breaking down gender barriers has been a difficult and an ongoing process, but women have made great strides in recent years thanks to changing mindset

Decentralized financial systems powered by blockchain technology are now changing the game. This technology is enabling women to take part in transactions and investments without relying on intermediaries or traditional financial institutions. With blockchain, there is a more transparent and accountable financial system that can help address the existing gender disparities in the industry. This technology has the potential to level the playing field for women and usher in a new era of prosperity.

Here are some ways in which blockchain technology can help address the challenges women face in the financial industry. 

DeFi and Financial Opportunities

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is opening up a financial ecosystem that is available to everyone, regardless of their location, social status, or gender. With DeFi, financial transactions can be carried out without the need for intermediaries such as banks or other financial institutions.

According to the World Bank Group's Global Findex report of 2021, the financial system is still inaccessible to more than 1 billion women worldwide. This lack of access to financial services has created a significant financing gap of $300 billion for formal, women-owned small businesses globally, as estimated by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

With DeFi, women can access financial services without the need for intermediaries or traditional financial institutions. They can use decentralized networks to make payments, invest in digital assets, and access loans. Because DeFi is open to everyone, women can participate in the ecosystem without facing the same barriers they would in traditional financial systems.

An example of women breaking into the space is Defy Trends, a women-led DeFi analytics firm. In an article by Entrepreneur, the four female founders recently came out on top at The Startup Showdown in Miami, and was deemed the "best company" by the judges, which puts them in the rarefied air of the 2.1 percent of women-led companies that secured investment in 2021. With their impressive win, Defy Trends is breaking barriers and smashing stereotypes in the traditionally male-dominated world of blockchain.

Though DeFi is a new concept, there are challenges that need to be addressed, such as the lack of regulation and the need for better education and awareness around it. However, as the DeFi ecosystem evolves, it has the potential to transform the financial industry, enabling greater financial opportunities for women and other marginalized groups.

“​Education and empowerment are important if we are to have true diversity and gender equality. It means enabling more girls, women and minorities to learn about Web3 and build solutions that have diversity and equity at the core. It means mentoring, championing and supporting these underrepresented groups to adopt and adapt to these rapidly evolving technologies. I think the future of Web3 and blockchain is bright if we are intentional in our efforts,” said Preeti Adhikary, partner at Ganas Ventures and the founder of The Great Nepali Diaspora.  

Creator Economy and Entrepreneurship

The Creator Economy is a rapidly growing sector within Web3, and it presents a unique opportunity for women entrepreneurs to thrive. Blockchain technology has allowed for new ways of monetizing creative content, with NFTs being one of the most popular tools for creators. The decentralized nature of blockchain also means that creators have more control over their work and can receive direct payments from their audience without the need for intermediaries.

One of the biggest success stories in the Creator Economy and entrepreneurship space is the World of Women project. This project began as a collectible NFT project of 10,000 generative PFPs made available on OpenSea. Each PFP was unique, and created by WoW artist and co-founder Yam Karkai. 

The project's success can be attributed to its vibrant and engaged community, which includes both women and men who are passionate about promoting gender equality in the blockchain industry.

The World of Women project is a great example of how blockchain technology is enabling women entrepreneurs to carve out a space for themselves in the Creator Economy. By leveraging the power of NFTs and the decentralized nature of blockchain, women like Yam Karkai are able to create and monetize their work without having to rely on traditional gatekeepers. This allows for more diversity and inclusion in the Creator Economy, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and equitable future for all.

Empowering Women to Raise Funding Independently

Through the use of Web3 platforms and protocols, women can create and launch their own digital tokens or tokens representing their projects, which can be bought and sold on decentralized exchanges. This allows them to access a larger pool of investors and supporters, who can buy and hold these tokens as a way to invest in the project's success.

One of the main advantages of Web3 fundraising is that it is more accessible and inclusive than traditional funding methods. Women who may have been overlooked by traditional investors can now access funding directly from their community and supporters. 

Moreover, Web3 fundraising can also help women to maintain more control over their projects and businesses. By raising funds through decentralized platforms, they can avoid having to give up equity or decision-making power to traditional investors. This means that they can retain greater ownership and control over their projects and businesses, which can lead to greater long-term success and prosperity.

One example of how blockchain is empowering women to raise funding independently and take control of their financial future is Aloi, the brainchild of Sonika Manandhar and Tiffany Tong, a hip blockchain-based financing platform for micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets, with a keen eye on supporting women entrepreneurs in Nepal.

Their platform uses tokenization to provide micro-business loans, making finance more inclusive than ever before. What's more, Aloi's out-of-the-box approach includes using SMS as a user-friendly interface. This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for users who might not have access to smartphones or the internet. With over $465k.

Overall, the rise of Web3 and blockchain technology is creating new pathways to prosperity for women, by enabling them to bypass traditional capital providers and raise funding independently. As more women embrace these new technologies and launch their own projects and businesses, they have the potential to transform the tech and startup industries, and create a more inclusive and diverse economy for all.

Shagun is the founder of Makeraves, a global PR agency that specializes in emerging tech and Web3 companies. As a former tech journalist, she loves to geek out on the latest tech trends. When she's not busy running her PR biz, she loves nothing more than empowering women in tech.

This is not financial advice. If you don't want to spend money investing in crypto or Web3 — you don’t have to. The intent of this article is to help others educate themselves and learn.

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