Meet Rebecca Jacobs and Cailey Gibson, CoFounders of Anika Works

Left to Right: Rebecca Jacobs, Cailey Gibson

FcF: Tell us about yourself?

Rebecca: I grew up in Toronto, Canada, but I always knew I belonged to the global community. I’ve dedicated my life to creating meaningful change. I lost my parents at a young age, and it taught me that the only constant in life is change – we can either resist it, or embrace it as an opportunity. Professionally, that meant applying entrepreneurial, empathetic leadership to the local Canadian and international nonprofit sector. My perspective of the nonprofit landscape, plus the nonprofit champions I’ve met along the way, inspired me to start Anika Works in 2019.

Cailey: I grew up in the US, on the east coast and moved just outside Tahoe. I worked in a variety of business environments from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. After 9+ years in marketing I opened my own consulting company, Collab.ink DM, providing digital marketing services to small and mid sized businesses. I worked with Rebecca as a vendor at first and was brought on as co-founder and COO in the early stage because I had a passion for Rebecca’s vision for Anika Works and wanted to help bring it to life.


FcF: What is Anika Works?

Cailey: Anika Works helps small nonprofits get funded by leveraging online assessments, recurring crowdfunding, and corporate sponsor matchmaking so they can focus on what matters most - doing good work.

Anika Works Ecosystem


FcF: How did you come up with  Anika Works?

Rebecca: I started my entrepreneurial journey with one foot in the world of nonprofits, the other in the world of corporates. During my experience working in Tanzania for global nonprofits, I realized that nonprofits who prioritize serving their beneficiaries get left behind on the hamster wheel of fundraising. Compelled to take action, Cailey & I are leveraging our superpowers to disrupt the nonprofit sector with Anika Works.


FcF: What were the first 3 steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue this idea?

Rebecca:

  1. I shadowed a nonprofit leader I deeply respected for three months to get an honest understanding of the challenges she faced. 
  2. Then I interviewed as many people as I could in the sector to validate my hypothesis. 
  3. Finally, I applied to Founder Institute Toronto for a structured community of support to challenge me as I moved forward.



FcF: What has been the biggest challenge for you so far in building Anika Works?

Cailey: One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as a company is how to balance building relationships with both sides of our community: nonprofits and corporate sponsors. We’ve come to appreciate that if we really want to help nonprofits achieve their goals, it’s important to create meaningful partnerships with the companies that want to support them. To be able to bridge that gap, I’ve focused my energy engaging with our nonprofit Champions, while Rebecca is focused on connecting with companies.


FcF: How did you meet your Co-Founder? What do you look for in a Co-Founder? 

Rebecca: Technically, we’ve never met (in person)! Cailey consulted for Anika Works on a digital marketing project and we’ve been inseparable ever since. While I focus on inspiring others to see our vision, Cailey knows how to get work done. We've been co-founders for close to 8 months, and complement each other incredibly well, despite never having met in person. In a newly remote world, we prioritize transparency and cultivating team wellness. 


FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?

Rebecca: You are uniquely qualified to be working on your business because you show up to work on it every day. The best thing you can do is practice trusting yourself, and the rest will follow!


FcF: How can the Female CoFounder community help you?  

Cailey: We’re currently looking to build partnerships with companies that want to do good, well. If you know Corporate Giving or CSR professionals, we’d love to connect!

FcF: How can people contact you?

Rebecca/Cailey:  

https://anika.works/

https://www.instagram.com/anika.works/

https://twitter.com/anika_works

https://www.facebook.com/anikaworks/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/anikaworks

You can also DM @Rebecca Jacobs@Cailey Gibson in our slack channel!

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