Wednesday, September 26

She’s A Crowd Is Shining A Light On Gender-Based Violence By Providing A Collective Voice To The Issue

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She’s A Crowd, is a recent graduate of the SheStarts Accelerator program and is looking to shine a light on the issue of gender-based violence. In this article we sit down with the founder to learn more about She’s A Crowd and hear what it takes to get a startup like this off the ground!

She’s A Crowd was founded by Zoe Condliffe a gender equality advocate with a background in international development, project management and building youth-led social change movements. Zoe was also named one of the Top 100 most influential, creative and provocative people in Melbourne by The Age when she was 21.

The company uses crowdsourcing technology to harness the growing trend of social storytelling for data that will help people in power understand the complex issue of gender-based violence. But what exactly does that mean?

As Zoe went on to explain “women’s stories have historically remained in the private sphere. But stories are crucial to finding our place in the word and making sense of it.”

That’s where She’s A Crowd looks to step in. As Zoe outlines the gaps in the stories are just as important as the stories themselves. The She’s A Crowd project looks to break this collective silence by collecting testimonies from women who have experienced gender based violence.

To protect user privacy  She’s A Crowd allows users to remain as anonymous as they like. A users email will not be directly linked to their story, and users can remain completely anonymous if they choose.

Bringing this full circle, She’s a Crowd will then be able to generate a database of information that can be used to empower feminist politics in the country and re-shape policy around gender-based violence across the country. As Zoe explains “All this data could actually inform the way our cities are made, safety systems are structured, and how women are empowered”.

And this is a big issue. In fact, 80% of sexual assault goes unreported because women aren’t reporting their experiences through formal structures. Zoe went on to explain “this is because of the stigma attached, because they don’t trust our systems, or because they consider their experiences to be so normal they don’t think anyone will want to hear their story.” Without a platform like She’s a Crowd all of this data will continue to go uncollected.

To get She’s A Crowd off the ground and to help bring the conversation of gender-based violence to the forefront of the public consciousness Zoe quit her full time job and went all in. Zoe’s commitment is clear, as Zoe mentioned she “had to live in my van and rely on the generosity of my family and friends to get me through.”

But a major breakthrough came when She’s A Crowd was accepted into the SheStarts Accelerator Program. SheStarts is an accelerator program that aims to turbocharge female entrepreneurs who are building big tech ideas. The program provides successful applicants with investment in their startup, an in-house dedicated tech team, first class training and access to a host of mentors and advisors.

As a non-tech founder Zoe highlighted that the support of SheStarts has been key in helping her to She’s A Crowd to where it is today. In particular Zoe mentions how she has embraced the experience by seeking “advice, support and technical expertise from everyone.” Zoe then goes on to say, “now that I’m armed with that information, I’m collating it and balancing it with my own knowledge and intuition to make good decisions about the future of my company.”

Looking to the future Zoe is currently focused on identifying interesting pilot projects and building out their team of advisors and volunteers. If you would like to find out more about She’s A Crowd or have something to share you can visit their website here.

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About Author

Paul Towers is a passionate supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem and the Founder of Startup Soda. Originally, Startup Soda was solely a newsletter that helped curate the best content from the Australian startup community, more recently however it has turned into a media platform with the aim of improving coverage of Australian Startups, Founders and VC's.

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