Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative

The City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI)

Overview and Description 

WHAT IS WEI?

Through a competitive selection process, a maximum of 15 women entrepreneurs will be selected to “incubate” their business at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), in a technologically advanced environment, designed to foster and business growth and sustainability. Through an ecosystem of educational resources, access to funding assistance and mentorship, the women entrepreneurs will grow their businesses over the course of 15 months, and then transition the business back into Atlanta at the end of that period.  Specifically, WEI will provide the selected businesses with the following tools:

  • use of the center’s innovative work space as a business incubator
  • a network of expert, seasoned mentors and consultants from the business and entrepreneurship communities serving in an advisory board capacity
  • refinement of business plans
  • marketing and branding identification and strategic development
  • targeted financial education
  • legal advice and planning assistance
  • measurable business growth and progress metrics
  • post-transition support to reinforce business longevity and success, once back in the community

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will function as an incubator for existing women business owners to accelerate their business growth, while also providing community outreach, educational workshops and mentorship engagement, to emerging business owners and future entrepreneurs.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Entry into the WEI incubator is a rigorous and competitive process, intentionally designed to curate from a pool of highly qualified candidates. While the scalability, investability and sustainability of the business models is critical to the selection process, WEI Atlanta also considers several components, specific to the women who run the businesses:

  • Is she passionate, focused and demonstrative of running a business based on purpose, not just profit?
  • Is she leading a business reflective of the City of Atlanta’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as integrity and professional excellence?
  • Is she open and enthusiastic to coaching, mentoring and the constructive feedback inherent to the WEI advisory process?

While the entry criteria into the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will likely evolve, the following baseline criteria was used for selecting the 2016-2017 participants, and should be considered relevant to the future selection process:

  • Woman-owned business, locally based, who reside in and/or are licensed to do business, within the City of Atlanta
  • Business maturity of 2 years and/or:
  • Total profit from business of $30,000
  • 1-5 employees
  • Submission of application and participation in pitch competition to selection panel

The WEI Incubator runs for a period of fifteen (15) months, and the application period for the current class is now closed. Applications for the next round of entrepreneurs will be available in early 2017. Additional details for the opening date will be forthcoming soon. Please check back here frequently for updated information on the revised application opening date.

WHERE IS WEI LOCATED?

WEI is housed in downtown Atlanta’s iconic Flatiron Building – the city’s oldest standing skyscraper. The 40,000-square-foot landmark was recently upgraded to intersect its historical character with cutting-edge innovation and design. This unique collaborative space, through an exciting partnership with Microsoft, serves as a technologically-advanced backdrop to Atlanta’s emerging and existing entrepreneurs, seeking to foster their business growth in a space that is cool yet inviting, creative yet sophisticated.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

The City of Atlanta Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative
72 Marietta Street
9th Floor
Atlanta GA 30303Office: 404.546.4065info@weiatlanta.com
Websites: www.weiatlanta.com
www.atlantaga.gov/wei
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