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Will Crowdfunding Create the Next Martha Stewart?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A single mother of three, Charanya Young is on a mission.

She is already accomplishing her short term goal of refurbishing furniture for displaced families so that temporary shelters feel more like a loving, nurturing home. Her long-term goal is to become the next Nate Berkus or Martha Stewart. For The Great Unwashed out there like me who still use abandoned milk crates as a bed stand, Nate Berkus is Oprah's favorite designer whose line is carried by Target (TGT) and HSN, Inc. (HSNI). Macy's (M) and JC Penney (JCP) have Martha Stewart's line.

To reach the level where her brand allows her to be found in those retail giants, Charanya Young is turning to "crowdfunding."

Crowdfunding is when entities and entrepreneurs around the world like Ms. Young pitch to others for financing over the Internet or at events like The One Spark Festival, which 260,000 attended last month in Jacksonville. She was at One Spark crowdfunding for her organization, The H.O.M.E. Project (Home Organizational and Maintenance Enterprise). Through crowdfunding, much can be done to ease income inequality. Rarely does a financial force like crowdfunding evolve at a time when it can do so much to relieve a global social crisis like income inequality.

TheStreet's attention and Charanya Young's actions are testament to the potential of crowdfunding to do much to relieve the ill effects of income inequality.

Young's goal is to, "help families rebuild the home environment that was lost in a transitional period in their life." Towards that, she takes unwanted furniture and brings it back to its previous glory. She attributes her children, ages 17, 16 and 12, as her motivation declaring that, "My kids inspired me to do this so that I can inspire them in life."

So far, her experience at One Spark is emboldening others to move forward and seek funding for their project.

At her One Spark booth, Young was visited by many family members and friends. "There was a definite 'wow' factor when they came to see me at One Spark," she members. "As a result of what they saw, some of them said that they are now inspired to seek crowdfunding for their own projects." Spreading the good word at her church excited even more about the possibilities of crowdfunding.

Like so many others, Young found the great value of One Spark to be in the contacts made and the feedback received from the market.

Even events like One Spark, as successful as it was, are not needed for crowd funding to do its work in easing income inequality. The free computer at the local public library is more than enough to get started. As Dom Einhorn, founder of Born2Invest, a crowdfunding platform stated about this, "Crowdfunding could ultimately become the 'great equalizer' since every entrepreneur, regardless of income status, merely needs an Internet connection and some creativity in order to raise funds for their venture."

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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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