Recognition to (dis)Abilities by the Investment World?…Well, knock me over!

Sunday evening – June 7, 2015 – Dignity by Design (my company) was notified that it had become a semi-finalist in the Minnesota Cup Competition!!

Dignity by Design


T
his may not mean so very much to those out of state or globally, but to Minnesota it means a great deal.  And to a company that has dedicated its entirety to disabilities and the independence of the disabled, veteran and elderly…..well, it is unprecedented!!

For years, decades and historically – Disabilities have eluded investors as a non-glamorous, non-high-tech, non-money-making market.  However, with the onset of disabilities hitting the runway in fashion, new technological advances in disease, war aftermath, community inclusion and software (including apps) rising to meet the needs of disabilities – it has become a viable “Social Impact” venture to investors and media worldwide.

It’s about time!

“When we’ve risen to meet the needs of our fellow man/woman – to create an environment that allows for independence, recognition of abilities and respect of worth – as a whole – regardless of ability or disAbility – then, we have truly evolved.”  Donna Freeberg

Thank you MNCup for your recognition.  It is amazing!

MN Cup
MN Cup

Donna Freeberg, President
Dignity by Design – Fashion for all disAbilities
http://www.dignitybydesign.com

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The Emperor’s New Clothes: Disability Offerings or an Illusion?

There is much on the global runway today that is addressing disabilities and fashion.  Models are entering the runways in designs from the best houses of fashion.  My colleagues, with disabilities, are finally being focused on – for the first time – for the beautiful people that they are – disability or no.

 

But is this just a showing for the designers, spotlighting their “compassionate” nature, and garnering headlines?  The clothing is not made exclusively for the disabled – and although it’s very lovely – it does not address the issue of fashion for disabilities.

I believe that it’s opportunistic.  My clothing line “Dignity by Design” is made specifically for disabled, Veterans and the elderly.  (www.dignitybydesign.com)

We have struggled for years to get recognition by investors and angels, Why?:

  • Not enough of a market (5 million Americans and returning Veterans….not enough?)
  • “We don’t understand the disabled community”. (How about getting to know them?)
  • “We don’t understand the manufacturing/clothing market…too unstable”. (Does “Fubu” ring familiar?)
  • “It’s not technology…. and the return in the technology industry is more guaranteed.”  (Although, with an 80% failure rate – the ROI is far from guaranteed.)

…The need IS real for the 5 million Americans alone, struggling with clothing issues, not having adequate resources and unable to afford designer prices – even if the clothing was made for their needs?

Please post your concerns or interest – because I am mystified at the apathy and lack of concrete solutions provided, thus far, for the daily needs of professional and social disabled citizens.  We have always had the answer!

Partnering with Dignity by Design:

MINNESOTA ANGEL INVESTORS: $$$$ Tax Breaks $$$

Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit provides a 25-percent credit to investors or investment funds that put money into startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields. The maximum credit is $125,000 per person, per year ($250,000 if filing jointly). The credit is refundable. Residents of other states and foreign countries are eligible.

Available Funding

                A total of $16 million in tax credits is available, divided into two parts:

  • $7.5 million is reserved until Sept. 30 for investments in businesses owned by women or minorities or in businesses located in Greater Minnesota. As of 1/26/2015, $6.0 million remains. After Oct. 1, any remaining tax credits not allocated to these targeted businesses will be made available to others.
  • Another $8.5 million in credits (including unused credits from 2014) is available for investments in other businesses. As of 1/26/2015, $5.5 million remains.

ICANwDigall disability 2

Dignity by Design Enterprise
Angel.co/Dignity by Design

Proprietary Social Impact product: 
Professional Clothing made exclusively for 
the Disabled, Elderly 
and Veteran

Seeking experienced Investors in:
Manufacturing, Disabilities, Fashion or Military Veterans 
Vista large2

HIRE ME! The Entrepreneur as an Employee….what?? OMG!!

Hireme3

We’re leary as business owners, right? Will the Entrepreneur overshadow me, my current employees OR most importantly: Bring value and skills to my business, without being a gazelle, or a King/Queen? Insight 101: In this economy – with an 80% failure rate in start up businesses – the current entrepreneur has learned humility along with a solid business education – if they have been wise enough to take it in and stand tall.

Here is my answer to my business colleagues: Buy, Buy, Buy!!

The true entrepreneur thinks outside of the box and can bring a wealth of talent into your business:

Having tame yet empowered entrepreneurs within a company is the dream for most business owners. These are employees who will undertake something new, without being asked to do so. They are innovative and creative – they are people who can transform an idea into a profitable venture for your business. They strike the perfect balance – act like entrepreneurs, but they work for you.”
The Barking Mad Blog http://www.neilsteggall.org/ SME Advice with bite!

Search within your Network for the entrepreneur (with the skills that match your business
model) as your next awesome employee.

It’s the no-brainer way to obtain growth and innovation within your company!!!!

Marketing, Social Media and Business Development:
Donna Freeberg
612-325-4889

Marketing, Social Media and Business Development:
Donna Freeberg
612-325-4889

On this day in 1974, labor activist Karen Silkwood died under mysterious circumstances.

1974

The younger generations may not know who she was or why she died – but this single incident sparked a Nationwide acknowledgment to Nuclear terror – hidden within the towns,
families and jobs in the “Good Old U.S. of A.”  

It was a time when: If the people, the press or news uncovered corruption/evil THEY spoke
and the people of the USA listened.

 
We had outlived the Hearst’s and our Nation was seeking truth and liberty. We were expanding our brains beyond what we’d been told and we sought to become enlightened people.
It wasn’t without risk, but it was courageous and true. 

TODAY evil/corruption is at home again and deeply nestled within all of the news –
and sound bites are everywhere.

It has escalated since the Karen’s and Watergate to where this nation is uninformed and held hostage to “entertainment” coverage for ratings, financial and political gains.

Nixon    Vietnam    Enron

NixonVietnam (Desert Storm, Iraq War, Afghanistan) – Enron
OH MY!!

Information today is so polluted that I feel we will never
again be truly knowledgeable.

Veterans of the United States And to all that have fallen before you:

I want to take this moment to show my gratitude to you, personally.
Thank you
for your service and sacrifice.

Family:Dad

The most influential Veteran in my life was my Dad: Leslie Walton. My Dad was part of the glory, sacrifice and triumph of WWII.  He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps, (before it became the Air Force as we know it today); he lost his leg in an airplane accident and spent a year in the hospital recovering.  His aeronautical triumphs continued after the war with Honeywell.  He loved flying, he loved his country, he was a man of honor and a great father.  And my mother was by his side – every step of the way – through thick and thin. They were the inspiration for my company:
Dignity by Design.  (www.dignitybydesign.com)

Country: I hope that these images will be as inspirational to you as they were to me:

DogTagCloak1Museumpost

Sculpture

(Minneapolis Institute of Art – 5/2014)

http://www.dignitybydesign.com  “Serving the disabled and Veterans globally”

Crowdfunding. Where do you stand??

cf

So much is written about, blogged about (and posted on every site imaginable about) Crowdfunding.

There are experts with webinars (I’ve personally attended my fair share) – experts at the podium and experts on the street corner (AKA: Will work for….).

I, too, have a Crowdfunding post/site….which, by all accounts, is not doing well:  http://www.gofundme.com/dignitybydesign

ICANwDig

I really don’t know why.  The facts are:

  • I do need the funds, pursuing a dream (even the most noble) isn’t cheap and can be seriously devastating to your finances.
  • I have a lot of friends and followers
  • I’m up against the BIG DOGS and they are ruthless

So what are your thoughts dear readers?

Are we just so deluged by scammers, opportunists, the hard hit economy, elections and politics – to recognize an authentic need…even if it’s your neighbor next door?