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Ford Fund news and announcements

Second HI – HERImpact DC Program to Mentor and Invest in Female Social Entrepreneurs

  • Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures host second HI – HERImpact DC initiative, a three-month program that will provide mentoring and $50,000 in investments to female social entrepreneurs

  • HI – HERImpact DC kicks off with a free Entrepreneurship Summit at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business on June 27

  • Women are more likely to create social impact ventures that address real-world problems, yet they receive just 2% of venture capital; HI – HERImpact DC provides mentoring, capacity building and access to capital for female-owned social enterprises or startups

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2019 — Female social entrepreneurs and those with plans to become one can get expert advice and support from national leaders at the HI – HERImpact Entrepreneurship Summit – a free event, created to help female social entrepreneurs learn how to grow their enterprises and increase both impact and long-term sustainability.

HERImpact DC logo

The Summit kicks off a three-month program, HI – HERImpact DC, that combines financial assistance with mentorship, coaching, workshops and other vital support for female-owned small businesses or startups focused on making their communities better places to live. HI – HERImpact DC is a collaboration between Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, and 1863 Ventures.

The HI – HERImpact Entrepreneurship Summit runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business located at 3700 O St. NW, McDonough School of Business, Hariri Building – 4th floor Fisher Colloquium, Washington, D.C. 20057.

Registration for the Summit is required but there is no fee to attend. To register or learn more about the Summit, interested attendees can visit

At the June 27 summit, attendees will gain insight into best practices in the social impact space regarding metrics and evaluation, marketing, financing and more. The Summit will conclude with the opening of applications for a pitch competition that will take place in September as part of DC Start Up Week, where creative thinkers with plans for a small business or startup will have the chance to compete for $50,000 in prizes and impact investments. Applications will be available beginning June 27 at

The summit speakers include Amelia Friedman, Hatch Apps; Stefanie Thomas, Impact America Fund; Susan Balloch, Golden Seeds; Kristina Francis, BEACON/pipeline; Ryan Ross, Halcyon and Julia Westfall, HeraHub.

Emily Miller, the luncheon speaker, is a social entrepreneur and combat veteran. She currently works as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Department of Commerce. She co-founded Rumi Spice which provides high-quality, sustainably farmed saffron by sourcing directly from rural Afghan farmers in an economic partnership.

HI – HERImpact DC is part of a larger Ford Fund strategy to strengthen communities and make people's lives better. "The idea is to hold women-focused, social-entrepreneurship pitch events two consecutive years in each city, while also developing and annually implementing new initiatives in a different city," said Yisel Cabrera, community relations manager at Ford Fund.

In March, Ford Fund awarded $50,000 in cash and prizes to three social entrepreneurs in the inaugural HI – HERImpact DC business pitch competition. Fourteen finalists – selected from more than 370 applicants – met with program coaches to develop plans and pitches for businesses or startups that address a community need in the areas of mobility, women's issues, veterans or homelessness. By the end of this year, the program will have awarded more than $100,000 in cash and supplemental support to female social entrepreneurs in D.C. alone.

In addition, Ford Fund has previously hosted two women-focused, social-entrepreneurship pitch events in Detroit and has plans to launch HI – HERImpact in Miami in the fourth quarter of 2019.


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.

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 or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter.