Now, more than ever, is the time to support WOC entrepreneurs.
Covid has affected Black-owned businesses at an alarming rate. More than 40% of Black-owned businesses have shut down because of the pandemic and many are expected not to re-open according to a CBS News story.
Women of Color (WOC) entrepreneurs are hurting, and yet they are critical engines of business growth in this country. Investing in them is investing in both our collective recovery and a more equitable future with diverse leaders.
When you help a business owner grow her business, the effects are wide-reaching: you help her family, her team and their families, and all the girls and women who look up to her in her community.
At Million Dollar Women, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to create a profitable, scalable business, and we know that depending on your gender, race, age, sexual preference or where you live, you might experience higher rates of discrimination, sexism and racism. We want to counterbalance those obstacles. We created the Million Dollar Women Fund to provide scholarships for WOC entrepreneurs specifically who face substantial, systemic obstacles in growing their businesses. Women of color run businesses were making an average of $25,000 - $50,000 per year before COVID-19 and those numbers are expected to plummet if they don't get access to business training and loans. Add to that the fact that PPP loans were distributed in a way that did not reach many Black business owners.
At Million Dollar Women, we are committed to dismantling systemic racism, and we are challenging ourselves to step up even more during this time, will you step up with us?
More and more women are STARTING businesses, but very few are "going big." Studies show that 90% of women who run businesses in the U.S. are generating under $100,000 in revenues per year and have no employees. This means that many women have created jobs for themselves, but they have no benefits, no vacations, and no job security. We want to help women learn the business skills and get the coaching they need so their business can make more money, employ more people, and they can become leaders for other women and girls to follow. They also will hire more people, generate revenues that add $1.7T to the GDP and will then join boards and invest in other women entrepreneurs, creating a kind of "multiplier effect."
There are three main obstacles to women of color who want to grow their businesses:
- Lack of role models
- Less access to capital
- Little or no business training
At Million Dollar Women, we are unique in that we address all three of these obstacles via our Million Dollar Women Masterclass, a four month online coaching program. Just awarding funding or giving grants is not enough, and sometimes it can be just a bandaid if the business owner doesn't get the right business training or have the right network of support. We help women expand their businesses by providing business training, access to capital, a supportive community and role models in the form of mentorship by experienced entrepreneurs.
The Million Dollar Women Fund allows us to provide scholarships to WOC business owners across the U.S. Can you help us make it possible for a woman business owner to get the equivalent of an executive MBA, so she can then get to $200k, $500k and one day, $1,000,000 in revenues? Every dollar goes to helping a small business owner regain her footing and not just survive, but thrive, even in these challenging times.
MEET THE WOMEN WHO ARE GOING BIG
The women in our program are running companies they founded in health care, education, technology, products and services. Most of them did not go to business school and do not have a finance background. They are often in parts of the country where there is not a lot of support for entrepreneurs (such as North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington state, rural Texas). Entrepreneurs come to Million Dollar Women to fill in their business gaps and take their companies big. Each MDW Fund scholarship recipient is currently making less than $50,000 per year, yet they each have the potential to make $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000 in revenues with the right support and business coaching.
To watch interviews with graduates of our scholarship program click here.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
Ambitious WOC entrepreneurs apply to the program. If they qualify, they receive:
- Step-by-step business training via four-month online program
- Support from our dedicated MDW Fund Program Coordinator
- Live Q&As with scaling coach Julia Pimsleur and guest entrepreneurs
- Increased sales via more effective marketing, outsourcing, and planning
- Greater confidence about going big, with other high-growth women entrepreneurs
- Access to cash grants for digital marketing services and/or hiring a virtual assistant
- Mentorship from successful founders who have been there, done that
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Contribute. Any amount helps, and the majority of our donations are small dollar amounts. Your money goes directly to three things: scholarships, cash grants, and our dedicated Program Coordinator. When you donate, you are not only supporting the recipients of our scholarship program, you are also supporting the idea that everyone should be able to access mentorship and businesses training, regardless of the obstacles people so often face due to race, financial situation, gender, age, and sexual orientation.
- Volunteer as a mentor. If you have built a company making over $5M and want to mentor women in our community, please contact us and we will set up a call to learn more about you and your business.
- Spread the word. Help us by sharing this campaign on social media or forwarding to a friend.
Contributing to the Fund helps to close the economic gender gap. Become a part of our international community of change-makers!
All women deserve access to the skills that will help them change their business from one that is just getting by to one that provides for their families, creates jobs, and paves the way for future women entrepreneurs.
Thank you for reading and watching!
Stay healthy and brave,
MEET THE MDW FUND BOARD
About the MDW Fund board
Denise Harris is the Founder and CEO of Denise Harris Executive Coaching & Corporate Consulting. Denise is an accomplished leader, certified executive coach, and leadership development facilitator who has the innate ability to empower purpose-driven people to fulfill their goals.
For more than 20 years, she's brought her contagious passion for growth and development to individual leaders and organizations, including Amazon, Cox Communications, Mozilla, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.
Erin Coles is the CEO of Pro-Arts Management & Consulting LLC and the co-founder of premier NYC-based wedding band, The Metropolitan Players. Erin is passionate about music, art, entrepreneurs, and, most importantly, passionate about activism & equality.
Erin successfully manages and executes multiple projects simultaneously as she serves as the secretary for the MDW Fund and volunteers at We Are Women Owned.
Stephanie Cartin is the co-founder of advertising and marketing agency Socialfly and the inspiring podcast Entreprenistas. Socialyfly is a leading social-first digital and influencer agency based in New York City.
Within seven years, Socialfly has expanded to over 30 full-time employees, helping over 200 brands, including the Girl Scouts, Samsung SmartThings, Nest Fragrances, 20th Century Fox, and Univision.
Jessica Robinson is the CEO of PurePoint International, which helps CEOs prevent data breaches by bridging the gap among data security, cyber risk, and privacy.
PurePoint International is the #1 security company of choice for women-led businesses and organizations globally and is the winner of the JCI Philippines-New York ICON of IMPACT Award for International Affairs and Women's Security for their work with CEOs and innovative approach with global businesses.