The BOSS Network, an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through digital content, programs, and event-based networking, announces its BOSS Impact Fund.
It has been reported that the single greatest barrier to success for new businesses and startups is access to capital—and minorities make up less than 1% of founders that receive that investment. The BOSS Impact Fund will focus on investing in Black women-led businesses and preparing these entrepreneurs to build scalable, growth aggressive companies. Its goal is to raise investment funding for 500+ Black women entrepreneurs over the next three years.
As part of its efforts, The BOSS Network is partnering with Sage, the global market leader for technology that provides small and medium businesses with the visibility, flexibility, and efficiency to manage finances, operations, and people, for the launch of the Sage “Invest in Progress” Grant Program, a $1.5MM commitment over three years. Sage and The BOSS Network are working together to remove the barriers that many entrepreneurs face by providing funding to support Black women entrepreneurs in the first five years of their business.
Through the Sage “Invest in Progress” Grant Program, 25 Black women entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to receive a capital investment of $10,000 toward successfully starting and growing their business in addition to an entrepreneurial mentor program in support of Black women-owned small businesses. To register or for more information, visit BOSSImpactFund. The deadline for submissions is February 25.
The Sage “Invest in Progress” Grant will also provide coaching, curriculum, and connections while removing capital barriers to help this group achieve success. The grant application process is powered by HelloAlice, a grant funding platform designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The BOSS Network has had a long-standing commitment to women entrepreneurs. Founded by CEO Cameka Smith, the mission of The BOSS Network, which stands for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women of color. The BOSS Network is changing the way enterprising women are viewed among the masses and becoming a resource for companies seeking female minority influencers as their target market. It has supported the careers and small business developments of more than 200,000 women of color nationwide through initiatives such as BOSS Business University—a digital platform that provides comprehensive mentorship programming through industry business experts.
“We are so excited to launch the BOSS Impact Fund to benefit Black women business owners. For over 12 years, The BOSS Network has remained committed to not only empowering Black women entrepreneurs but also arming them with the resources they need to lead successful business and increase their market share,” said Smith. “We are also thrilled to partner with Sage on the launch of the Sage ‘Invest in Progress’ Grant. We know that all of the recipients will greatly benefit from this capital investment. We are looking forward to additional partnerships in the future with organizations who are aligned with our longstanding mission.”
“At Sage, we have committed to knocking down barriers that foster an advantage for some groups while creating obstacles for others. Capital investment is one area that we’ve recognized as a barrier, particularly for black businesswomen,” said Aziz Benmalek, interim managing director, Sage North America. “Sage is dedicated to being a part of a cultural shift that will help bring about a business community that is more equitable and sustainable for all.”
The BOSS Network will also launch its #InvestInProgress campaign across all social channels beginning in January 2022. The campaign demonstrates its commitment to a broader conversation on leveling the playing field for Black women entrepreneurs to gain access to capital to grow their businesses. In order to see real change for Black female founders #InvestInProgress. Join the conversation with @thebossnetwork and @sage and apply to the #InvestInProgress grant at BOSSImpactFund.com.
Founded by Cameka Smith, BOSS™ is an acronym for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” and the network’s mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. The BOSS Network is an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online, and event-based networking. The BOSS Network was named as a Forbes’ “Top 10 Career and Entrepreneurial websites for Women.” More than 200,000 active women members throughout the United States are engaged through our social and digital programming. The BOSS Network’s latest initiative is the BOSS Impact Fund, with a focus on grant funding for 500+ Black women entrepreneurs over the next three years. In addition, each grant recipient will have a 1-year scholarship to our BOSS Business University, a digital mentorship program that will provide a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum, to assist in long-term business growth.
Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small- and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners, and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR, and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitizing business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks, and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology, and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality, and the climate crisis.