Elana Schlenker used her Sprout grant to catalyze conversation about the wage gap between men and women. You can help us support more creative agitators with a tax-deductible donation to The Sprout Fund.


At this little pop-up shop, open in Pittsburgh during April 2015, the philosophy was “pay what you’re paid.” Less than 100 offers women shoppers a discount that mirrors their state’s gender pay gap. In Pennsylvania, women earn only an average of 76 cents to a man’s dollar. So in this Penn Avenue storefront, women only paid 76% of full price.

The shop sold artisan goods created by US-based female artists and entrepreneurs. Founder Elana Schlenker also hosted educational and advocacy events, like workshops teaching women how to negotiate a higher salary, and provided free folios that explain the pay disparity in greater depth.

It’s my hope that this tongue-in-cheek approach makes the impact of wage inequality tangible and sparks positive dialogue around the issue.
–Elana Schlenker, project leader

Sprout provided catalytic support for Less than 100 through its annual ‘Grand Ideas’ grant opportunity that offers $1,000 micro-grants to help quick, one-time small-scale projects pop-up– and in some cases evolve beyond Sprout’s initial investment! In the case of Less than 100, the provocative project attracted media attention from as far away as Sweden and the UK, as well as being featured in the Huffington Post and on MSNBC.

After launching in Pittsburgh with the help of a $1,000 grant from The Sprout Fund, the shop’s second incarnation was 66 < 100, reflecting the greater wage gap in its new location: New Orleans, Louisiana.

Community support makes this possible! Help us do more in 2016 with a year-end donation to The Sprout Fund. You can make your tax-deductible gift by visiting sproutfund.org/give.