Dentsu Aegis Network's Female Foundry Launches Virtual Boot Camp for Female Entrepreneurs
Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) today announced it will take Female Foundry, its global business growth program, to a virtual online format in response to Covid-19. Originally scheduled to make its U.S. debut with a three-day bootcamp for female entrepreneurs in Chicago, Female Foundry’s move to an online development and mentorship program will expand its geographical reach and enable scale.
Female Foundry has responded to the increased challenges small businesses are facing in the wake of the pandemic by adapting its curriculum and developing a dynamic and interactive online experience. The application process is open to female-led businesses located in the Eastern and Central U.S. time zones.
Entries are open now through June 15 and the interactive bootcamp will run July 13-31. The program aims to support 30 female entrepreneurs. Interested business owners can submit their application on the Female Foundry website.
“We established Female Foundry to nurture a global community of inspirational women leaders and to help them get their businesses to the next stages of growth,” said Anna Lungley, global head of social impact at Dentsu Aegis Network. “But now is about survival, adaptation and the power of community, and Female Foundry is responding to give women the critical support they need to thrive in radically different circumstances.”
In addition, DAN will release its whitepaper Hear Her Voice in early June, which forms the bedrock of understanding the challenges and opportunities faced by women founders in each market where Female Foundry launches.
“Our U.S. research points to some similar realities for women founders as we saw in Asia Pacific and Latin America, including women relying on self-funding to launch their business and a willingness to mentor and support other female entrepreneurs,” said iProspect U.S. CEO Jeremy Cornfeldt. “We’ve also uncovered meaningful data about the specific realities for women entrepreneurs in the U.S. market, which is informing our design of the Female Foundry curriculum.”
Initial findings from Hear Her Voice show that women are embracing new technologies, and each other, to thrive. Female Foundry creates a platform for mutual knowledge exchange between women from different generations and across industries, developing critical virtual support communities at a time when isolation can amplify the pressures facing all entrepreneurs.
“There is no precedent for how to respond to the unique challenges brought about by Covid-19,” said Deb Boyda, Isobar CEO. “We’re at an inflection point where we can both support women in navigating the current crisis and help them to plot a longer-term strategic path for their businesses to thrive.”
Female Foundry’s online curriculum will help the selected women develop their strategies, skills, networks and resilience to today’s economic and market challenges. It will also focus on the use and development of digital tools and strategies, which are important for survival during the pandemic. Female founders will join six, 90-minute live sessions and will undertake individual and small group coursework tasks to build out their peer community. The course content includes:
· Leadership During Challenging Times
· Your Business Model
· The Customer Journey
· Digital Strategies for SMEs
· Driving Change Through OKRs
Female entrepreneurs interested in joining the program are asked to meet the following criteria for consideration:
· The female entrepreneur should own some share of the business holding the main leadership position in the company.
· The business should be leveraging technology in some capacity or be willing to adopt new technologies to scale and grow.
· This program is for licensed / registered businesses that have been selling products or services for at least one year and are generating revenue or were revenue generating prior to the pandemic, whether they are profitable or not.
· The business venture must be based within the Eastern or Central U.S. time zones.
· The founder must have access to a computer, broadband and ideally a webcam.