New Grant Helps Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative Expand Mission

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has awarded the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) with a $49,500 grant to expand its programming and develop a podcast series to help advance its goals.

WEI has an active programming curriculum that includes Business Analysis, Learning & Leadership Development, Strategic Partnerships and Funding Opportunities – all of which focus on startup workshops and webinars to strengthen Atlanta’s entrepreneurial pipeline.

WEI will receive the grant funds via Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), which will serve as its fiscal partner. ACE is a nonprofit organization that provides loans and business development resources to help its borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses which generate jobs. 

“This grant will help WEI strengthen its pipeline, which is a key goal for 2021,” said Monica Hooks, executive director for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. “We are looking to reach more budding entrepreneurs, and with these funds, we feel we’ll be able to touch at least 200 women-owned businesses throughout the city of Atlanta and at least 120 minority-owned women businesses through workshops and webinars.”

The LISC grant will not only help develop potential entrepreneurs so they can participate in incubator programs, like WEI, and/or accelerator programs within the city of Atlanta, it also will provide no-cost support for those in need of access to information, technical resources and one-on-one engagement.

WEI was launched in 2015 with support from the City of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta as the first, city-funded incubator to foster growth and sustainability for emerging women-owned businesses through programming, facilities, technology and other shared resources.

Entrepreneurs are competitively selected for a rigorous 15-month incubator program, during which the WEI entrepreneurs have access to practical business, education, mentorship engagement, financial literacy assistance and business support services, including co-location at the new WEI incubator space in the Flatiron Building. 

Since its inception, WEI businesses have created more than 230 jobs for the city of Atlanta, and WEI entrepreneurs have garnered more than $800,000 in capital investment.

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