Women & Girls Initiatives

Women make up more than half of the U.S. population, but continue to be underrepresented in business and in classrooms where STEAM courses are the predominate fields of study. Globally, women face barriers to education that limit economic growth and challenge their efforts to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. Ford Fund supports programs that empower women by providing access to educational, business and financial opportunities that can open doors to success and make their lives better.

Accelerating Women in Social Impact

Powered by Ford Fund and 1863 Ventures, HI – HERImpact is designed to help female social entrepreneurs scale their enterprises in order to increase their impact and long term sustainability.

HI-HERImpact travels across the country to select markets each year and brings with it several program elements including an Entrepreneurship Summit and a Pitch Competition. The summit is designed to build community and increase the capacity of female social entrepreneurs through advice from experts, online tools and networking. The HI-HERImpact Pitch competition provides funding for women social entrepreneurs in early and growth stage companies.

Since 2017, Ford Fund has invested $300,000 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.

To learn more about where the initiative will be next visit herimpact.net.

In collaboration with Michigan Women Forward, Ford Fund hosted two rounds of Empower Change MI for women social entrepreneurs. In photo: Growth category winner Arielle Johnson of Fierce Detroit pitches at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

HI-HERImpact D.C. finalists prepare to pitch in front of an audience and judges during DC Startup Week in 2019.

Christine Yaged (right) moderates a discussion on business growth during HI-HERImpact Miami's Entrepreneurship Summit in 2019. Discussion participants include two Miami-businesses, Michelle Abbs (left) of Babson's Women Innovating Now (WIN) Labs and Sandra Arber (center) of Endrock Growth and Analytics.

Support of Women and Girls Around the World

Members of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan participate in the STEMinista Project at Michigan Science Center in Detroit. Women who work at Ford in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math provide mentoring and other support.

When Saudi Arabia lifted the royal decree banning women from obtaining a driver’s license, Ford stepped in to launch the first driver training event of its kind there. Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her made its global debut in March 2018 at Jeddah’s Effat University. Customized training modules were created with first-time drivers in the kingdom in mind.

To learn about additional ways Ford Fund supports communities, click here.

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