By Alec Moylan
November 15, 2018
The rise of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube have encouraged many to share their passion for gaming with the world. However, despite the rush of new content creators, the streaming community remains disproportionately male.
There are plenty of female creators out there, but many lack the resources necessary to start and grow their own streaming channel. Buying special equipment, upgrading hardware, traveling to events — producing quality content doesn’t come cheap.
To help aspiring creators and grow the female streaming community, Twitch has partnered with the 1000 Dreams Fund to offer the first-ever micro-grant program called the BroadcastHER Initiative. Here’s how it all works.
Since 2015, 1000 Dreams Fund has awarded hundreds of grants to high school and college-aged women to support their pursuits outside the classroom. Thanks to funding from Twitch, the 1000 Dreams Fund, created the BroadcastHER Initiative as an extension of organizations original objective.
While the 1000 Dreams Fund selects grantees, the BroadcastHER Initiative functions differently from the organization’s other scholarship programs.
Eligibility is simple. Applicants can be from anywhere in the world as long as they both female and a Twitch affiliated or partnered broadcaster. While anyone can submit an application, preference will be given to those currently enrolled in an education program.
Once those criteria are met, applicants are chosen based on the merit of their application and their financial need. Applicants are expected to have a plan for how the financial aid will be used and how it contributes to their long-term streaming goals.
If you look over past grantees, you’ll find that most have a strong sense of purpose with specific goals in mind. They don’t want just any female streamer, they want an influencer.
Depending on budget, two or more grants — ranging from $500-$2000 —will be awarded in fall and spring semesters. The grants are intended for hardware upgrades, travel expenses, entry fees, and other tools to assist in the applicant’s artistic pursuits.
BroadcastHER funding should not be used for everyday expenses, tuition, or costs related to medical care. 1,000 Dreams’s purpose is to provide the financial aid needed to support women’s passions and dreams, not help them with their daily struggles.
Grants are nonrenewable, but non-selected applicants may re-apply.
To apply for a BroadcastHER Grant, you must fill out an application from 1000dreamsfund.org. The application consists of many short answer questions pertaining to the applicant’s financial situation, background, streaming history, goals, and how the person intends to use the grant. The questions are fashioned in order to tell the story of each applicant and discover what they stand for.
Applications adhere to a strict deadline; those who miss the deadline must wait until the next season’s application window opens. Once the application window closes, there is a 1-2 month waiting period before selection, followed by an additional 1-2 months before the financial aid is disbursed.
In August 2018, 1,000 Dreams Fund revealed its inaugural class of 50 grantees chosen from a field of about 600 applicants. The 50 women form a truly diverse group, representing seven different countries across 5 continents — each with their own unique story to tell.
Jourdan Kerl (pictured right), 26, is a digital broadcaster with dreams of being an esports desk/stage host. With the grant money, she intends to upgrade her equipment so she can produce content with consistency. Producing high-quality content and generating a consistent following will surely jump-start her career.
Maria Vitóia Campana, 18, from Paraná, Brazil aims to be a good role model for female gamers. Maria through perseverance and positivity through financial hardships, wants to show the strength of the female streaming community and let everyone know they can make it as a streamer.
Brandy Clark, 36, is the oldest member of the grantees, but that won’t stop her from pursuing her dreams. Brandy is using the grant to buy a PS4 with the goal of adding more variety to her channel. Having dealt with self-esteem issues in the past, she wants to empower women, especially broadcasters, to be themselves despite the pressures around them.
The BroadcastHER Initiative is still in its infancy, but it has already generated a lot of buzz from the gaming community. With each passing semester, the female streaming community will grow larger and become better equipped for the future.
The BroadcastHER Initiative is the first of its kind and won’t be the last.