Mayor Walsh Announces Second Annual WE BOS Week to Support Women Entrepreneurs
BOSTON - Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement today announced the second annual WE BOS Week, a week-long event designed to support women entrepreneurs. The City of Boston's Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS) program will once again bring together Boston's entrepreneurial networks: events will be held throughout the City featuring high-profile speakers, skill-building workshops, coaching sessions and networking opportunities to help women entrepreneurs build their networks, and learn new skills to scale and grow their businesses.
"Boston is home to a vast network of entrepreneurs, startups and thriving businesses -- and the City of Boston is committed to ensuring women play a major role in our business success," said Mayor Walsh. "Promoting economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs is important to the vitality of our City as a whole, and I am proud to support the second annual WE BOS Week."
Last year over 1,000 women participated in 13 events held throughout WE BOS week in partnership with 10 organizations. This year, WE BOS week will plan 16 events, through the support of the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and 13 additional partners.
While Boston has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, women-led businesses continue to face challenges including access to funding and difficulty finding mentors and networks to support them as they grow. The Diana Report release in 2014 found that women-led startups only receive 3% of venture capital (VC) funding.
"Here in Boston, 35% of businesses are owned by women. These businesses employ 36,100 people and generate $3.3 billion in revenue," said Kara Miller, Women Entrepreneurs Boston Program Manager. "However, we know that access to investors and funding is one of the biggest challenges facing women entrepreneurs. That's why this year, WE BOS week will offer several opportunities for women-led startups to meet with VCs and Angel investors to get feedback on their business. I'm thrilled with the support we have already received, and look forward to hosting programs that will foster women's businesses during WE BOS Week and throughout the year."
The Refiney accelerator and Goldenseeds will be offering office hours where businesses can meet with VCs and Angel investors. SheStarts will also host a speed networking event for startups looking to meet investors.
The WE BOS Week kick-off will be held in partnership with Mass Innovation Nights at Women Founders Night on Monday, October 17th from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. at District Hall. At the event, 14 women-led startups will showcase their businesses.
About WE BOS
The WE BOS program advances Boston's women entrepreneurs by providing the resources and network they need launch and grow their business. Since the launch of the program last fall over 1,500 women have participated in WE BOS through one-on-one coaching, educational programming and networking opportunities. In partnership with the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement and the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, WE BOS supports all women entrepreneurs, including startups, home-based businesses and the established brick-and-mortar mainstays of Boston's neighborhoods, with the goal to increase the number of established women entrepreneurs in the City of Boston and to strengthen and grow Boston's existing women-owned businesses.