An entrepreneur designing and marketing clothes for women over 50 is appealing to customers to keep her company afloat after two previous investors unexpectedly pulled out of its latest fundraising effort. Hope McKintosh, aged 60, felt older women were ignored by mainstream brands, despite having more disposable income. “I wanted to unashamedly target a 50-plus woman who is cognisant of the changes her body goes through, and design products accordingly”. Now she is asking Hope Fashion’s 20,000 customers to donate £100 or more with the aim of raising £250,000 to head off the firm’s collapse. If the crowdfunding bid fails she will refund their contributions. In the past she has found it hard to attract funding from predominantly male investors.“This is a brand for women, by women, supported by women. I think an awful lot of male investors out there just don’t get it,” says McIntosh. As a woman, I’ve got a 2% chance of being successful at fundraising. As a person of colour, that goes down to 0.2%.”

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