Ford Media Center

Ford Fund, 1863 Ventures to Launch HERImpact DC to Support Innovative Women Social Entrepreneurs

  • Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures are teaming up to support female social entrepreneurs with access to capital and capacity building for small businesses or startups
  • HERImpact DC will kick-off with a free Entrepreneurship Summit at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business on Nov. 5
  • Ford Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company – supports innovative programs designed to empower women and girls

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 17, 2018 – Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures (formerly Project 500) are launching a new program in Washington, D.C. to help female social entrepreneurs grow their enterprises, increasing both impact and long-term sustainability.

HERImpact DC will offer female entrepreneurs in the area, educational opportunities, technical assistance, mentoring, coaching, and financial resources to encourage creative thinkers with plans for small businesses or startups that will also make their communities better places to live.

“Ford Fund is thrilled to launch HERImpact DC in one of the nation’s top cities for inclusive, female-driven entrepreneurship,” said Yisel Cabrera, government and community relations manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “The coaching, mentoring and resources through HERImpact DC will help women in the region succeed individually and strengthen their communities as well. We know that when an investment is made in a women’s future, her family and community also benefit, and the impact of that investment multiplies.”

The HERImpact DC Entrepreneurship Summit is a free public event attracting more than 100 diverse leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals from across the region to connect and learn about making and measuring impact, leveraging partnerships, and building a brand, among other workshop topics. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to grow and scale their businesses, and how to apply for the HERImpact DC pitch competition in the spring. To learn more about the summit and to register to attend, visit www.herimpactdc.net.

Starting Nov. 5, 2018, HERImpact DC will issue a Call for Companies for a pitch competition in March 2019, and will offer a series of workshops and seminars for female social entrepreneurs in the District. A total of $50,000 in prizes and impact investments will be awarded to high potential social enterprises run by women in the region.

“According to a 2019 report from BEACON, a DC Women Founders Initiative, Washington, D.C., is one of the 10 fastest growing states for women-owned businesses in the U.S. Despite the severe inequality in securing capital from VCs,” said Melissa Bradley, managing partner, 1863 Ventures. “HERImpact DC will help women overcome some of the obstacles they face in securing capital and accessing capacity building resources, while helping to strengthen the communities where they live and work.”

Ford Motor Company Fund has long supported programs that help women succeed by overcoming social, educational and financial obstacles. Ford Fund helps female social entrepreneurs in Michigan with access to capital and resources through an initiative with Michigan Women Forward. Ford Fund is active in STEAM (science, technology, education, arts and math) education that focuses on encouraging girls and young women to consider careers in technical fields such as engineering and design. Ford Fund also supports military families with programs such as Nurse Assistant Training through the American Red Cross, and teams of Ford employees work on a regular basis year-round at homeless shelters, food banks and family centers, assisting women and their loved ones through the Ford Volunteer Corps. 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 201,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Established in 1949, Ford Fund invests in transformational programs that advance innovation, empower people, promote social mobility and improve community prosperity. Ford Fund works with local and global partners to create opportunities in education, encourage safe driving, enlist employee volunteers and enrich community life. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.

About 1863 Ventures

1863 Ventures accelerates new majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth by bridging entrepreneurship and racial equity. Our vision is to create $100B of new wealth and economic power for and by the new majority. Our work provides emerging entrepreneurs with access to money, markets and management training. We will achieve our vision through increased profitability, job creation and access to capital for our members.

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