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Female Entrepreneur-Focused Ford Empower-HER Initiative Announced

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The Michigan Women’s Foundation and Ford Motor Company this week announced the launch of Ford Empower-HER, an initiative aimed at providing opportunities for and access to educational resources, technical assistance and financial support for women entrepreneurs in Michigan.

The Ford Empower-HER pilot program was revealed at the Michigan Women’s Foundation’s “Lights, Courage, Action” fundraising dinner in Detroit. MWF will lean on its resources to identify social entrepreneurs of note and bolster their efforts in the hopes of putting them on a path to success. The program will include conferences, workshops, and seminars, all taking place over the year ahead and beyond.

“Three and a half years after launching our Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, MWF is the state’s largest microlender and a primary player in the region’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO, Michigan Women’s Foundation. “Our goal is to provide the education, capital, and mentorship women need to start and grow sustainable businesses. We are grateful that Ford has chosen investing in women to be among their priorities and we are thrilled to be selected to partner with them on Ford Empower-HER.”

Ford Fund will also supply a total of $50,000 in prizes for a business plan competition, where entries will be judged in terms of how it addresses community issues including homelessness, support of veterans, women’s issues and mobility.

“Ford Empower-HER will inspire women with the business savvy to make a profit and the social awareness to make a positive impact on their community at the same time,” said Pamela Alexander, community development director, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Ford’s success has always been rooted in innovation and Ford Empower-HER advances Ford Fund’s support for women through entrepreneurship.”

Ford expects that the success of Ford Empower-HER will lead to wider adoption in different communities across the country, as well as the formation of partnerships with organizations, businesses, and colleges and universities.