Taking support for women entrepreneurs on the road

Jul 17, 2014

Women play a significant role in advancing growth within their communities and, in turn, the global economy. However, they face real challenges in gaining access to affordable loans and other resources. To help address this issue, we co-founded the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program — a Bank of America and Tory Burch Foundation initiative. This new program is designed to provide women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to affordable loans, mentoring support and networking opportunities to help grow their businesses. The program launched in January 2014 with an initial investment of $10 million from Bank of America and additional funds for operating grants shared by the Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America.

“The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program embodies our support for women’s empowerment by promoting entrepreneurship for women through affordable loans and other resources, said Andrew Plepler, Bank of America’s Environmental, Social and Governance Executive. “[In this country,] both job growth and economic growth come directly from women’s entrepreneurship and our partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation will help drive that.”

We’ve hosted Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program events in New York, San Francisco and, most recently, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Each event drew more than 100 women entrepreneurs looking for mentoring support and networking opportunities. Local leaders from companies such as Real Food Works, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, TCG Events, Southern Shows, Inc., Pride Communications and Bank of America Merrill Lynch offered attendees advice for growing and maintaining their businesses. Burch, Plepler and Co-Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag participated in several of the events. They covered a range of topics, from trusting your instincts, to making sure your business combines your passion, your skills, and a marketable product or service.

The women also had the chance to meet our local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners, which administer affordable loans, with funding provided by Bank of America, to the women business owners. Participating CDFI partners include Accion East in Boston and New York; Self-Help in North Carolina; Nevada Microenterprise Initiative, in partnership with VEDC in Las Vegas; Entrepreneur Works in Philadelphia; Opportunity Fund in San Francisco; and UCEDC in New Jersey.
 
According to Burch, the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program spotlights women’s innate leadership talents and is “not about charity, but about empowerment.”
 
Future events will take place in Las Vegas and Boston, with plans to expand the initiative even further.

Elizabeth Street Capital

Women play a significant role in advancing the economy in their communities and around the world.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

A strong community of women entrepreneurs is vital to the continued growth of the global economy.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

The events were designed to bring women entrepreneurs closer together, and to help them succeed.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

The initiative helps provide women entrepreneurs with access to loans, mentoring and networking.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

The women also met with our local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

Tory Burch participated in these events along with leaders from the Bank of America team.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

Each of our Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program events drew more than 100 women entrepreneurs.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program spotlights women’s leadership talents and abilities.

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Elizabeth Street Capital

At the events, women received advice on how to grow and maintain their businesses.

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