Mayor Walsh Launches "Women Entrepreneurs Boston" to Support Women-Owned Businesses
September 21, 2015
BOSTON - Monday, September 21, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced Women Entrepreneurs Boston (WE BOS), a new City of Boston initiative that will advance Boston's women entrepreneurs by providing the skills, technical assistance and network women need to launch and grow their business.
"We know that women led businesses continue to face challenges including limited funding, challenges in scaling, and finding mentors and networks to support them as they grow," said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud to kick-off WE BOS to better address these challenges and promote economic equity in Boston."
Kara Miller, a South Boston resident, will be managing the new initiative. Kara has spent the last two years building the Women on Main program and will expand its work through WE BOS.
In partnership with the Mayor's office of Women's Advancement and Office of Business Development, WE BOS will support 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 well-established women entrepreneurs in the City of Boston and to strengthen and grow Boston's existing women-owned businesses.
To begin its work in these areas, from October 12-16, WE BOS will bring together leaders in Boston's entrepreneurial ecosystem to launch Boston's first-ever Women Entrepreneurs Week. During this week, Boston's women entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to attend events throughout the City featuring high-profile speakers, skill-building workshops, round-table discussions, and networking opportunities to help women entrepreneurs build their networks and learn new skills to build and scale their businesses.
Women make up more than half of Boston's residents, yet only 1 dollar of every 23 dollars in conventional bank loans and less than 3 percent of venture capital funding is allocated to women-owned businesses.
"I am thrilled to expand our reach to women owned businesses through WE BOS." said Kara Miller, WE BOS program manager. "I am proud to live and work in a city that understands how important women entrepreneurs are to our economic ecosystem."
"Launching WE BOS is critical to the Mayor's commitment and vision for the women of Boston. Mayor Walsh understands that this is not only the right thing to do, but it's also important to the vitality and economy of our city as a whole." Megan Costello, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement. "We are excited to partner with skilled women who are shaping the course of our city."
The largest event of WE BOS week will be the Women Entrepreneurs Evening, hosted by Innovation Women, on Wednesday, October 14th from6:00 - 8:30 pm at District Hall. At this expo, attendees will have the opportunity to meet representatives from Boston's top organizations that support women entrepreneurs. The night will also include Mass Innovation Night's second annual Women Founders night.