With the abundance of smartphones and social networks today, cyberbullying is commonplace and a serious issue. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online (1 in 4 has had it happen more than once) and girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying. Local entrepreneurs Cindy Abel and Tosha Marks want to change the online status quo by founding Liv2BGirl, an app/social platform that’s troll-free.
According to Abel, “Liv2BGirl is a social mobile application where girls are inspired and rewarded for spreading the love and stopping the hate. The app allows girls to be the game changers of what they love and share it with all of their followers,” she says. “We feature girls going after their dreams and making a difference. We further empower them by providing role models that act as mentors and lift them up.”
The sad reality is that, “today, only 24% of our news talks about women in any subject,” laments Abel. “Girls are inundated with unrealistic images of other girls and women and they compare themselves leading to issues with self-esteem and self-worth. Social media outlets allow picture and video uploads we don’t want our daughters to see. Cyberbullying is at an all time high.” As mothers themselves, Abel and Marks want to change this environment for their daughters. On Liv2BGirl, girls can find a supportive place online where they have a voice and can connect. They can feel comfortable sharing ideas, thoughts, and images that define them. On this social platform, there’s no hate allowed.
Cindy and Tosha got the idea after their own experiences as mothers of teenage daughters. “Liv2BGirl started with hours of conversation between concerned friends. When the business began, we had daughters entering into social media. Facebook was the platform of choice,” recalls Abel. “We could see the effects all media had on their self-image and self-esteem. Cyberbullying was a new concept and the effects on our daughters and their friends was apparent. We wanted to change that. On today’s apps, the things girls are exposed to are even more alarming.” Liv2BGirl aims to stand out because it’s, “socially responsible: Liv2BGirl is an app with a social influence beyond the technology, socially complete: Liv2BGirl combines many communication functions they already rely on in one place, and socially aware: Liv2BGirl gives a percentage of their profits to organizations with similar missions,” she explains.
As female entrepreneurs and local residents, they’re proud to base their startup in The City Too Busy to Hate. “We incorporated our business in Atlanta because we have families and communities here. We’d like to be part of a growing movement to bring more women owned entrepreneurial businesses to the Southeast.” That’s a movement we at Hypepotamus are proud to get behind.
If you would like to help Liv2BGirl end cyberbullying for girls, visit their Indiegogo page and help them reach their goal of $50,000 for a closed beta version of the app. At the time of publishing this article, they have raised $4,565. The campaign closes on April 3rd. They’re also hiring. “We are currently seeking interns for help with marketing and social media,” says Abel. “With additional funding, we have positions identified for technical development, marketing and brand development, and sales.” Stay tuned for Liv2BGirl to make some big moves in 2015.