Watching her father build a business from the ground up, Ashley Crouch knew she wanted to follow in his footsteps. “He would take me to the office with him, like daddy-daughter days,” says Crouch. “It changed my life.” It inspired her to become one of the founders of a women’s magazine called Verily. That’s when she saw the impact she could have on other entrepreneurs. “After the magazine, I realized the power of the media. I wanted to help more people.”
That was the spark for her next company, Appleseed Communication. The PR firm specializes in comprehensive campaigns for female entrepreneurs, helping them thrive both professionally and personally. But the company goes even further: for each client it signs, it offer microloans to female business owners in developing countries where resources are harder to come by.
“I believe it’s the American dream: We grow up and we believe that we can better our circumstances and make our lives better,” says Ashley Crouch. “But we can also take it a step further and make other peoples lives better as well.”
A WeWork member in Los Angeles, Crouch cohosts events for startup companies at WeWork spaces. At a recent event for female entrepreneurs, a percentage of the profits helped fund the building of an empowerment center for women in Uganda. Crouch says she sees this as her way of “paying it forward.”