Bank of America and Cornell University launch the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell

The Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell will be an online learning portal that provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge and resources to build and manage a successful business. This signature partnership is an example of Bank of America’s commitment to provide tools to women in small business in order to drive economic growth.

Women entrepreneurs are on the rise, scaling businesses, providing employment and investing back into the communities they serve, but often lack the resources to help them advance. Today, women are starting and growing their own businesses at record rates; they own an estimated 11.6 million businesses, employ nearly 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in annual revenues. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor noted in a recent report that the challenges women entrepreneurs face imply that support for new and established businesses, including coaching, access to capital, education and training, and other resources, is important to sustain them over time.

“The Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell will provide training and educational resources to women at all stages of entrepreneurship,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman, Bank of America. “Our signature collaboration with Cornell University is a demonstration of how we continue to deploy capital and invest in partnerships that advance women entrepreneurs and build thriving economies.”

An initiative of the Cornell Center for Women, Justice, Economy and Technology (Cornell Women JET), the new institute will be a collaboration that draws on the expertise of faculty from Cornell Law School, Cornell Dyson School, Cornell Tech and eCornell, among others.

The Institute will offer an innovative online entrepreneurship curriculum, connect women with critical information and resources to overcome persistent challenges, including access to networks and capital, and foster a vibrant network of empowered women entrepreneurs and social innovators. Women entrepreneurs will apply for the online program, which will be offered at no cost. The learning portal features an e-curriculum created by professors from the school of Entrepreneurship at Cornell and in collaboration with existing Bank of America partners covering topics such as creating and funding your venture; product development and marketing; legal building blocks; and leadership, communication and negotiation skills, and more. The e-curriculum is expected to take an average of three months to complete and will also provide students access to customized research, content and events on relevant topics. The Institute will train 500 women through the executive certificate program by the end of the first year with the goal of reaching 5,000 women entrepreneurs over the next four years.

Background on Bank of America’s support of women
In addition to the signature partnership with Cornell, Bank of America invests in women through its lines of business, including Small Business Banking and Global Wealth & Investment Management. A recent U.S. Trust white paper profiling the journey of eight women entrepreneurs found five common attributes that contributed to their success: people and culture, education and experience, resilience and optimism, women’s leadership, and access to capital. The bank partners with a range of global, U.S. and local organizations that work to improve the lives of women and advance thriving economies. Working to reflect the communities where its employees live and work, the company has strong representation of women at all levels of the organization and supports women through career development programs, progressive policies and practices, and industry-leading benefits including 16 weeks of paid parental leave, maternity and infertility support, flexible work arrangements, back-up child care and adult care services.


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