501c3 organization She Runs It, today announced a partnership with digitalundivided, the leading non-profit leveraging data, programs, and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Latina and Black women entrepreneurs.
The two nonprofits will launch the She Runs It x digitalundivided: START Program. This new program is an early-stage, start-up accelerator modeled on digitalundivided’s decade-long history of providing coaching, mentorship, and grants to women founders at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.
“Our Foundation Board selected digitalundivided as a launch partner for this accelerator based on their history of propelling Latina and Black women entrepreneurs into new successful business endeavors,” said Lynn Branigan, President, and CEO of She Runs It.
“We are focusing on women of color because our industry is profoundly under-indexing on these workforce populations,” Branigan added, citing the organization’s #Inclusive100 research which indicates a decline in Black and Latina representation across the industry. “This program is designed to bring the powerful ideas and emerging business concepts of women of color to fruition for our industry.”
The 10-15 person cohort will be selected by a jury of industry leaders in marketing, media, and tech. Participants will be matched and mentored one-to-one by the She Runs It Foundation Board and other industry mentors through a 10-week curriculum designed specifically to give innovative founders the support and access to business tools and strategies needed to bring their ideas to fruition. Applications are available online and must be completed by August 7, 2022.
“Our START program is digitalundivided’s first entrepreneurship program supporting hundreds of early-stage women of color founders over the years as they take their business ideas to the next level,” said Lauren Maillian, CEO of digitalundivided.
“Our She Runs It x digitalundivided: START Program signals the first time we have partnered on this initiative with a focus on recruiting women entrepreneurs in marketing, media, and tech. This partnership will help jumpstart their emerging businesses at a pivotal time, as the pandemic continues to bring swift industry disruption and workforce change,” Maillian also notes.
The curriculum will culminate in a demo day in early December during which the selected entrepreneurs will present business plans and funding pitches to industry leaders.
The two organizations partnered to bring this START program to the marketing and media industries in the wake of the global pandemic, which forced many women to step back or out of the workforce entirely. The goal is to provide a timely resource to women of color, impacted by the pandemic, who are looking to get their businesses off the ground.
“We couldn’t have a better partner than digitalundivided,” shared Branigan. “Its impact has been seen across the startup ecosystem, influencing how venture capital firms are founded and operated, how entrepreneurs find resources and mentors, and how the ecosystem moves towards racial equity.”