MIAMI, Aug. 5, 2020 — Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures announced today that the second HI-HERImpact Miami Virtual Pitch Competition will be held online on Oct. 15, 2020. Women social entrepreneurs from Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties are invited to submit proposals, and those chosen will compete in the Shark Tank-style competition to win a total of $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind support for their businesses. The public is encouraged to register to attend the virtual event.
With the call for submission papers now open, proposals are being accepted online here. The deadline to submit is Sept. 20, 2020, at midnight ET. To be considered, proposals must address three criteria: the business or social enterprise must exist to solve a real community problem; have a business model that will ultimately be sustainable; and focus on a product or service people will pay for.
"Now more than ever, we must support women-owned businesses that aim to improve their communities and help rebuild the economy," said Yisel Cabrera, manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. "In our first HI-HERImpact pitch competition held this past spring, we saw a lot of promising businesses that can provide immediate impact in South Florida. We look forward to once again providing capital and helping a new group of businesses thrive."
Ford Motor Company Fund—Ford's philanthropic arm—and 1863 Ventures announced the Call for Papers at the end of the Aug. 4-6 HI-HERImpact Virtual Entrepreneurship Summit. The ongoing HI-HERImpact initiative is a joint venture between Ford Fund and 1863 Ventures in recognition that women-powered businesses have valuable ripple effects on their communities.
Since launching the HI-HERImpact initiative in 2017, Ford Fund has invested $250,000 in women-led social enterprises and helped more than 500 social entrepreneurs increase their capacity through workshops, webinars, coaching, mentoring and access to other resources in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Miami.
"Throughout my career, I've been dedicated to democratizing economic opportunity for those who've traditionally lacked access to markets, management and money," said Melissa Bradley, Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures. "Through initiatives like HI-HERImpact, we're able to enable the growth of women and minority-owned businesses by providing them with necessary tools and community support."
Earlier this year, due to COVID-19, the inaugural HI-HERImpact Miami Pitch Competition shifted from an in-person event to a virtual one. $50,000 in case prizes was awarded to three South Floridian winners: Lifetime Omics' Patricia Buendia, who is utilizing cutting-edge biotechnology methods to improve health and wellbeing; Equality Lab's Alexandra Ivanovitch, who is using cutting-edge virtual reality technology to benefit seniors; and EcoRenew's Vanessa Pierre, who is supporting environmental upkeep of Haiti by re/up-cycling post-consumer and industrial goods.
The upcoming HI-HERImpact Miami Virtual Pitch Competition is the latest example of how Ford Fund is assisting local communities and transitioning to virtual programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford Fund focused its early COVID-relief efforts on supporting nonprofit and community organizations around the world as they worked to address hunger relief, shelter, access to mobility and other urgent needs. As the pandemic continues, Ford Fund is adapting programs like HI-HERImpact into a virtual format to ensure small businesses receive the much-needed capital and can continue to help meet community needs in this difficult and unprecedented time. To learn more about Ford Fund's response to COVID-19, visit fordfund.org/covid19.
HI-HERImpact is a joint initiative between the Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures to help female social entrepreneurs scale their enterprises in order to increase their impact and long-term sustainability. HERImpact offers educational opportunities, technical assistance, mentoring, coaching, and financial resources, and its Entrepreneurship Summits and Pitch Competitions are designed to build community and provide investment in early and growth stage companies in the region. For more information, visit https://herimpact.net/, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @herimpacthq.
About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About 1863 Ventures
1863 Ventures accelerates new majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth by bridging entrepreneurship and racial equity. Our vision is to create $100B of new wealth and economic power for and by the new majority. Our work provides emerging entrepreneurs with access to money, markets and management training. We will achieve our vision through increased profitability, job creation and access to capital for our members.