Did you know?
- 72% of female founders cite lack of access to capital as the #1 barrier to starting a business.
- 49% of women cite lack of access to coaches and mentors who have “been there, done that” as a major barrier.
- 31% of women cite lack of access to a support system, community, and connections to help them level up as another huge barrier to launching a business.
These stats come from IFund Women (ifw), which is a platform focused on women entrepreneurs and those who support them. The mission of ifw is to decimate the funding gap for women-owned businesses by providing their community of women with Capital, Coaching, and Connections. ifw achieves this by providing a fundraising platform, access to small business grants through their partnerships, coaching from experienced startup founders and specialists across various topics, and access to industry connections.
Every year ifw awards women through their Entrepreneur of the Year program. IFund Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 (IFWEOY21) is their largest to date and will reward one grand prize winner with a $100,000 equity investment. The program offers eight categories for which women-owned businesses can apply: health & wellness, beauty, STEM, business services, social good, art, media & entertainment, fashion and food/beverage. Applicants will be judged on proven product-market fit, examples of driven growth, and whether or not they demonstrate a meaningful impact through their businesses. Applicants must also have been in business on or before June 29, 2020 and be based in the United States. Semi-finalists will pitch their business during a multi-day live pitch summit this October 2021 for a chance to acquire the title of IFundWomen Entrepreneur of the Year Honoree. IFWEOY21 concludes with an event on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, November 19, 2021, during which the IFundWomen Entrepreneur of the Year and selected Honorees will be announced. Selected Honorees and runner-ups will also receive monetary grants and coaching scholarships. All applicants will gain access to the IFund Women educational programming such as workshops on grant writing, pitching your business, startup metrics, etc.
The deadline for all applications is September 20th, 2021. To learn more and apply, visit the IFWEOY21 page here: https://ifundwomen.com/entrepreneur-of-the-year-2021.