6 Women Who Want To Help You Grow Your Business
According to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report, headed by American Express Open, the number of women-owned businesses grew 74 percent between 1997 and 2015, more than 1.5 times the national average. What's more, African American women-owned businesses grew 322 percent since 1997 as well.
That makes Black women the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America.
Who's working hard and giving back, thus ensuring these numbers overall continue to grow? We've rounded up five successful women entrepreneurs who are committed to supporting other women entrepreneurs with big ideas, and help them grow their ventures in fashion, technology and beyond.
Mark your calendars for important dates so you can take advantage of the opportunities these women-led organizations present. Let these ladies help you level-up your business!
Sophia Amoruso, The Girlboss Foundation
Sophia Amoruso, founder and former executive chairman who bore the Nasty Gal empire, and ultimately the #Girlboss brand, also created the #Girlboss Foundation in 2014 for makers. The #Girlboss Foundation awards financial grants to women makers creating in the spaces of design, fashion, music and the arts. Since launching, the #Girlboss Foundation has awarded more than $130,000 to women-led startups.
If you're an entrepreneur looking to push your passion to the next level, the #Girlboss Foundation is awarding grants up to $15,000 to help propel your business. According to the The Girlboss Foundation, you'll gain local and regional exposure for your startup, as well as exposure through the #Girlboss social media channels.!
In addition to funding and exposure, you'll have access to mentors handpicked by Sophia, herself, to ensure that you have ongoing support to help your business thrive.
It's a creative's world now, and Sophia is here for it! Head over to #girlboss and apply. Remember, two grants up to $15,000 are awarded twice a year. That’s two chances to convince the girlboss and her team that you deserve an opportunity to grow your dreams.
Tory Burch, Tory Burch Foundation
One of the things I love most about the Tory Burch Foundation are all the reasons it exists in the first place. While building her business, Tory Burch, she took note of the things business women struggle with the most. Among the struggles were balancing work and family, something Burch states was one of her greatest challenges, gaining access to capital and lack of confidence were other struggles.
What you'll learn about the Tory Burch Foundation is that small business support is delivered through key partnerships. Some of those partnerships are Bank of America, which makes obtaining affordable loans possible and Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Small Business Program" which will provide women business and management education through Babson College,
If you're fortunate enough to get to work with Tory through the foundation, you'll also have access to her network of mentors and leaders, as well as other striving business women. A mother of two, Tory built her foundation with two goals in mind: to benefit women and children, and to empower women to help themselves.
Jennifer Hyman Jennifer Fleiss, Project Entrepreneur
Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman, founders of fashion tech company Rent the Runway, where women can rent what they see on runways and save major coins, have raised millions in venture capital. Now they're paying it forward to women who are ready with prototypes and beta products and services to solid business plans for building scalable companies of their own.
Fleiss and Hyman recently launched Project Entrepreneur for female 'treps with businesses in the early stage growth period, and kicked off a national effort with events in multiple cities, a competition and accelerator. Winning entrepreneurs of the competition receive $10,000 to level-up their ventures, plus mentorship from business leaders.
Among the advisors that are helping make Project Entrepreneur successful and inclusive are leaders that work with organizations from Black Founders and HBCU Innovation to Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Initiative to Latino Startup Alliance.
Brit Moran, #IAMCREATIVE Foundation
An extension of Brit + Co brand, the #IAMCREATIVE Foundation was created to help women makers unleash their inner creatives through education, inspiration and support with a board of advisors that includes Designer and Activist Lauren Conrad, Designer Rebecca Minkoff among others.
The foundation awards four grants a year ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 to women with one-of-a-kind innovative ideas and projects that align with the Brit + Co mission to unlock creativity in women.
That's Brit Moran above, the one who started the colorful creative world and community that is Brit + Co.
Keep an out on the #IAMCREATIVE site to find out when the next cycle of applications begin.
Jacklyn Johnson, Create & Cultivate, WorkParty
If you haven't yet heard of Jacklyn Johnson, founder of Create & Cultivate, is a digital platform for ambitious millennial women, wildly successful offline conference series, and community “for women who want to create and cultivate the career of their dreams.” You’ll find career advice and lifestyle content, you’ll meet women who’ve created and cultivated the career of their dreams and dropping entrepreneurial gems they used to get where they are today. You may even notice a big party happening; a WorkParty, powered by Create & Cultivate, WorkParty “is a movement for a new generation who are redefining the meaning of work on their own terms.” You can join the WorkParty online, bring the party home with Jacklyn’s new book also called WorkParty: How to Create and Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams, or take the party with you anywhere with the live WorkParty podcast. You’re welcome.