UBS and the Female Founder Collective have announced the launch of Project Entrepreneur’s Investment Readiness Program in order to help address the gap in capital awarded to women. Project Entrepreneur is aiming to change the status quo for female founders.
Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and they are transforming communities through the 1,800 businesses they start every day and the $1.8 trillion they generate in revenue, according to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. But too many female founders have been cut off from the capital and support networks they need to take their companies to the next level.
Through the new partnership between UBS and the Female Founder Collective, Project Entrepreneur will host multi-city cohorts, capital access summits for early and growth-stage founders, and community-building events that will provide female founders with the knowledge and networks needed for growth.
In April 2020, two cohorts of 25 early-stage female founders will be selected to participate in a three-month Investment Readiness Program taught by leading investors and entrepreneurs in NYC. And the lessons will include fundraising fundamentals, creating a defensible financial model, and identifying the right investors at every stage.
The curriculum for these sessions is results-driven and participants will complete the program with the knowledge and networks they need to be ready to pitch investors and successfully raise capital. Plus the program will offer founders a tight-knit community and access to seasoned operators and executives to help them as they navigate their journeys.
Along with the New York cohorts, Project Entrepreneur will bring its Investment Readiness Program to Los Angeles this summer. And it will also offer Capital Access Summits for early-stage entrepreneurs in select cities across the country this year as well as a Trailblazers Summit in New York for mid-growth stage entrepreneurs in June 2020. This program will work with partners including WIE Network, The Riveter, All Raise, Social Innovation Summit, and other entrepreneur networks to ensure that access to capital and networks is more equitable for female founders.
The applications for Project Entrepreneur’s New York City Investment Readiness Program are now open through March 20, 2020. And to qualify, companies must have at least one female founder, be at least 50% female-owned, have a viable product, service or prototype, and be able to demonstrate traction in the form of revenue, partnerships, or customers.
“UBS first launched Project Entrepreneur in 2015 and has trained over 1,600 female founders by creating a new on-ramp to entrepreneurship for women across the US. Ultimately, having a pipeline isn’t the issue – it’s about access. Our program is working to create a world where women have equitable access to capital, deep connections within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the power to pursue their dreams on their own terms.”
– Jamie Sears, UBS Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas and Co-Founder of Project Entrepreneur
“As founders, we understand the urgency of the fundraising process and the combination of skills, resources and relationships needed to navigate it. Women have the power to transform our culture and communities, and giving them the tools to succeed through Project Entrepreneur couldn’t be a better investment in our future. The Female Founder Collective was formed to provide women-led businesses with vetted resources around capital, growing their business, and operating more efficiently, so when we had the chance to partner with UBS, a bank that has long supported business owners and has a proven track record of helping women-led businesses with Project Entrepreneur, we jumped at the chance.”
– Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer & Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of the Female Founder Collective
“Women are among the most prolific entrepreneurs of our time, but only a small percentage are raising the kind of funding needed to successfully scale their businesses and, quite frankly, survive. Our hope is that Project Entrepreneur puts more women on the path toward success and also inspires others to critically rethink their investing practices.”
– Alison Wyatt, Co-Founder and CEO of the Female Founder Collective