Global Wordsmiths

About Documents
$40,863 Funded
$20,000 Target
Closed Time Left
107 Investors
$20,000 Min. Raise
$107,000 Max. Raise
36 mo. Term Length
7.0% Interest Rate




Global Wordsmiths is a social enterprise that provides language translation, localization and interpretation services, as well as language access consulting and training for hospitals and healthcare systems, school districts, corporate ecommerce operations, the nonprofit sector and municipal governments, among many others.

We are looking to borrow up to $107,000. The annual interest rate includes a 3.75% interest-only period followed by a 30-month fully amortizing period repaying at 7.00% interest rate.

How You'll Help During COVID-19

Like most small businesses, we have experienced an abrupt and near-catastrophic revenue loss in a short period of time as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. To be proactive, we’ve eliminated all nonessential expenditures and determined that we need this campaign to cover 75% of our primary operating costs for a period of four months as follows:

  • Employee Salaries, 75% for 4 months: $89,695.20
  • Rent, 75% for 4 months: $9,000
  • Employee and General Insurance at 25% for 4 months: $1,320.75
  • Honeycomb Credit fee: $6,000

A successfully funded campaign will allow us to return to normal operations when business activities fully recover, to repay your generous investments, and to move forward with future plans for growth.


About Global Wordsmiths

Profits generated through our business activities are used to finance innovative social impact initiatives. These initiatives: 

  • provide free translation and interpretation to nonprofits,
  • provide quality jobs and growth opportunities for Global Wordsmiths’ linguists, and
  • help service providers to build or improve their language access policies and procedures.

These activities create and advance a culture of language accessibility in the region. This directly enables equitable access to services for English-learning immigrants and refugees who need these vital services to integrate and thrive, while also helping clients expand their service capacity, remain legally compliant, and build sustainable accessibility policies.

Our innovative revenue model is built on the notion that an organization can be both financially sustainable and change the world. Profits are channeled into meaningful community service, accelerating the growth of the organization in turn, and maximizing social impact as a result. Through fiscal sponsorship, we are able to accept foundation support to offset programmatic costs. The resulting mix of partnership, a commitment to social equity, and professional service results in a truly special organization that has completely changed the accessibility landscape in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Global Wordsmiths' Language Access Project Interns at a training.

Past and Present

Our founder, Mary Jayne McCullough, is a trained Spanish translator/interpreter, who spent the first fifteen years of her career working as a field interpreter for social service providers throughout the region. Her job was to go into the homes of hundreds of families and individuals, interpreting during social work and therapeutic home visits. She gained intimate insight into the lives of English learners and their needs. It became clear that financial services, education, healthcare, public benefits, utilities, transportation, food, public safety, and so much more were completely inaccessible to multilingual learners with limited English proficiency.

Mary Jayne volunteered as an interpreter at appointments for the people she served, and helped English learners make phone calls, read mail, apply for utilities and benefits, and navigate daily life for years. Eventually, she began to ask: Why aren’t service providers doing this work? Why aren’t there any language and accessibility resources for these families in cities like Pittsburgh?

The answers were complicated, and Mary Jayne spent three years identifying and researching the systemic problems of language access in rustbelt cities in order to form effective solutions. The Global Wordsmiths model was carefully crafted to address each of these systemic barriers using a truly unique and innovative approach that is both financially sustainable and socially responsible.

Training with local stakeholders.

Whereas large and traditionally diverse cities have developed infrastructure for language needs, rural areas, as well as small and medium cities like Pittsburgh, have none. Where there is no infrastructure, translation and interpretation services alone are not sufficient to solve the problems of accessibility and integration. Comprehensive education, research, policies and procedures, training, information, resources and implementation strategies are required. Global Wordsmiths was founded in February of 2017 to pull together these pieces of the larger puzzle.

We have experienced prolific organic growth since 2017. The work of building language accessibility has resonated throughout the region. We’ve executed language access plans for local government agencies and organizations both large and small, and become a trusted partner for stakeholders, governments, school districts, healthcare systems, and service providers. We have forged strong community partnerships that advance our own mission while also supporting the work of others. Our work has built and nurtured a culture of language access that continues to elevate the entire region by enabling equitable access and improving outcomes for all.

Interpreting for several 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Michael Bennet, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Tom Steyer.

The Future

There are more than 50,000 individuals in Allegheny County who speak a language other than English in the home. Since Rustbelt cities such as Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie, Lancaster and Akron have high rates of secondary migration, active refugee resettlement, and are attractive to migrants, English-learning immigrant and refugee populations are growing at a rate of 80% in these areas. The Global Wordsmiths model was built to leverage the shared characteristics of these and other cities whose immigrant and refugee advocacy networks have already established the social fabric needed to support its operations. The hard work of building and nurturing relationships across state and county lines has been a natural path to expanding our model into other cities with similar needs.

The current size of the Translation and Interpretation Services market is $23 billion. The industry has grown on average 4.5% per year since 2015. Compared to 2015, 2016 revenues grew by 8%, and long-term forecasts for the industry project positive growth (12.5% through 2022). There is great growth and technological innovation within the Language Services Industry; however, a lack of social innovation has long been a missed opportunity for growth and stewardship. We will continue to build valuation organically and position ourselves for acquisition during the next five years. The goal of this strategy is to take the time to build something lasting and strong, doubling down on local advocacy and shifting corporate language service industry culture toward socially responsible practices and priorities.

Global Wordsmiths' Interpreters in action​.

Why We Stand Out

  • We are a Pittsburgh-grown, star example of innovation and resilience.
  • Social impact is built into our DNA.
  • Our model is successful, with growth at 135%.
  • We provide employment and economic opportunity to more than 150 local contractors, vendors, and employees.
  • We are a certified woman-owned business.
  • We offer an essential service that improves outcomes for the whole region; not just for those who most need language services.
  • We adapt to changing trends by integrating new technologies in lockstep with the industry, ensuring a relevant future.
  • We are an essential partner to hundreds of organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.
  • We don’t take your investment for granted. Every small act of support is appreciated and will be put to good use!

One of our initiatives, in partnership with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.



Fast Facts

  • Global Wordsmiths has provided over 7,000 hours of volunteer language services, and more than 900 translated documents to 24 nonprofits in 14 languages at no cost.
  • Global Wordsmiths was New Sun Rising’s 2019 Vibrancy Award Honoree.
  • Global Wordsmiths was a 2018/2019 SheEO Venture USA Venture Semi-Finalist.
  • Global Wordsmiths placed Audience Favorite in the 2018 Invest in Her Pitch Competition.
  • Global Wordsmiths’ Founder was honored as a 2018 Coro Pittsburgh Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award Finalist for her work with Global Wordsmiths.
  • The Allegheny County Department of Human Services honored Global Wordsmiths with a Community Leadership Award for its innovative support of English Learners in 2018.
  • Global Wordsmiths completed the 2018 PGHLab program with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation and Performance.
  • The Global Wordsmiths founder is a graduate of the 2018 Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship IncubateHER Business Incubation Participant.
  • Global Wordsmiths’ was honored as an Immigrant Champion in both 2017 and 2018 by GlobalPittsburgh.

A language access training at Goodwill.

About the Owner

Mary Jayne McCullough is the Founder and Director of Global Wordsmiths, Adjunct Faculty Lecturer of Global Communication and Applied Translation at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition Board of Directors. She studied public service at the University of Pittsburgh and language translation & interpretation at the Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México in Mexico City, and brings almost 20 years of field experience as a Spanish language translator, simultaneous interpreter and a language service industry executive to her current position at Global Wordsmiths. She is driven and passionate, and dedicated to advancing a culture of language accessibility in the rustbelt.

The founder of Global Wordsmiths, Mary Jayne McCullough.

Deal Summary

Deal Summary


  Global Wordsmiths LLC

Security Type

  Unsecured loan

Loan Purpose

 Working capital during the COVID-19 pandemic

Offering Amount

  $20,000 - $107,000

Interest Rate

  3.75% interest-only (first 6 months),

  7.0% amortizing period (last 30 months)


  Monthly, disbursed to investors quarterly


  6 months interst only + 30 months amortizing

Personal Guaranty  

 Mary McCullough and Daniel Hummon

Security Interest


Your Earnings Potential

If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. If the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to Global Wordsmiths LLC.

For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials.

Investment Amount One-Time Fee

Potential Quarterly

Return: Interest-Only Period*

Potential Quarterly

Return: Amortization Period*

Potential Total Repayment*
$100 $1.40 $0.93 $10.93 $111.17
$500 $7.00 $4.68 $54.65 $555.85
$1,000 $14.00 $9.37 $109.30 $1,111.71
$5,000 $37.25 $46.87 $546.48 $5,558.54

*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding. Potential repayments include principal and interest; they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. These amounts are calculated as a hybrid interest-only + amortizing loan, which means that there is a specified interest-only period followed by a an amortization period. There are no prepayment penalties and Global Wordsmiths LLC may pay down their loan early, which may impact your earnings potential. Please note: returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment.

Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Over the life of the loan, you will receive a yearly 1099-INT, which is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.

Global Wordsmiths LLC pays as agreed. You will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account. In the event of a default, you will be contacted by the administrative agent to manage the collections process on the investors' behalf.

How Honeycomb is Compensated

Honeycomb charges Global Wordsmiths LLC a $100 posting fee and a 6.0% loan origination fee on the total amount funded.

Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 1.40% investment fee capped at $37.25 per investor.

Like what you see?  Check out our other campaigns here!

View our
Offering Documents


Q & A

+ Dear Mary Jayne, we are a student microfinance group at Haverford College and have recently become involved with Honeycomb. We are interested in participating in our first loan. This is a learning process for us (as I suppose it is for you) and we are trying to raise our underwriting skills in order to make good decisions. We have 12 questions to pose. I know this is a busy time, but would greatly appreciate your response. If you prefer, we could arrange for a call on Wednesday. We meet at 5pm. Thank you! 1) What are your different sales channels and who pays? a. What % is govt agency based? b. Where has your growth been focused in the past. Where do you expect growth in going forward? 2) What is the split in revenues across your different services? a. Will it be pent up or will planned expenditures be cancelled 3) What is line for social impact expenditure and why does it shift across time? How do you decide how much social impact to do? 4) Who are your competitors (10 listed on Yelp - none are Global Wordsmith) 5) How do you differentiate your services from the competition, i.e., what is your value proposition? (just social impact?) 6) Can you explain Vendor deposits in your balance sheet? 7) Indicate that you expect acquisition in 5 years. How will social impact be maintained? 8) What is the current state of operations? How have you adapted to the lock down? 9) Do you expect your customer base to recover after coming out of lock down. 10) This was a loan in process before COVID 19, apparently a working capital loan. How have your plans for managing the loan commitment changed? Is your ability to pay off the loan dependent on geographic growth? 11) In terms of Social Impact, are you able to do anything to help our your contractors during the current crisis? 12) You listed a very wide range for the size of loan you are willing to take. What are the differences in the usage of funds going from $20k to $50k to $100k?

Hi Shannon, Just a quick response to thank you for reaching out. I have responded to your question from my personal email account, as opposed to here on the platform. That email address is mjm@globalwordsmiths.com and please feel free to reach out there at any time. Please let me know if you did not receive my responses to your questions. Thanks so much, Mary Jayne