The City of Atlanta Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) announced its 2018-19 cohort of 15 entrepreneurs. As the nation’s only city-funded incubator for women business owners, WEI provides an ecosystem of educational resources, access to funding assistance and mentorship to women business owners.
“I am proud of the results that have been achieved through our Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. These inspirational women are helping foster economic growth in Atlanta, and are worthy of our admiration and support,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “With support from WEI, I am confident their journeys will continue to be successful and will serve as motivation for other aspiring women entrepreneurs to pursue their own dreams.”
With businesses ranging from innovative information technology solutions to niche retail products, the group of promising, Atlanta-based woman entrepreneurs will participate in WEI’s 15-month program, which is housed in a unique workspace in downtown Atlanta’s iconic Flatiron Building, the city’s oldest standing skyscraper. The WEI program is designed to foster their growth and sustainability through business education, financial literacy, access to mentors and consultants, and peer-to-peer networking.
“The 2018-19 class is comprised of talented, ambitious and proven business leaders, each with a vision for success that WEI is proud to help empower,” said founding Executive Director Theia Smith. “The WEI entrepreneurs are strong economic contributors to the growth of Atlanta as innovators, problem solvers and job creators.”
An idea sparked by former Mayor Kasim Reed during his first mayoral campaign, WEI was launched to align entrepreneurial opportunities for women in Atlanta with the City’s mission of elevating and strengthening its economic development efforts. WEI’s inaugural class, which graduated from the program in September 2017, have benefitted from the incubator’s support and are helping bolster Atlanta’s economy. Nine have grown their businesses to be able to hire their first, or an additional employee. Six WEI entrepreneurs have collaborated with a fellow entrepreneur, to create a new business opportunity; and one has scaled her 2017 revenue beyond $1.1 million.
To qualify as a WEI participant, a business must be 100 percent woman-owned and the founder must reside in and/or be licensed to do business within the City of Atlanta; have a valid, up-to-date business license on file with the City of Atlanta; have substantiated proof of revenue generated by the ventures’ operations; employ three or fewer people (including the founder); and operate a business model favorable to a collaborative, shared workspace environment.
For more information about WEI, visit www.weiatlanta.com.
About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative
Launched in May 2016, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) operates as an incubator for women business owners designed to foster and promote interaction and engagement with their likeminded counterparts. WEI is the only city-funded initiative of its kind, in the nation.