We talk a lot about entrepreneurship, side hustles and following your dreams through our blogs on SheInTheCLE. Shibani and I both have full time jobs, run a side hustle and co-founded SheInTheCLE, Gabby is a full-time student, has a full-time job and manages our posts for this blog – so you get what I’m saying. We don’t have much down time but we do go after what we want.
Which is why I want to make sure anyone who is reading this knows about Bad Girl Ventures. Full disclosure: I am on the advisory committee of this organization here in Cleveland. I love this organization and everything it stands for: female entrepreneurship, following your dreams, building a community. I have never gone through the program as an entrepreneur but when I was asked to join the committee, I did so instantly because its mission so tightly aligned with my passions.
Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) helps women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. It’s not a secret that women business owners have a more difficult time getting approved for business financing. This is not due to their lack of ideas, skills or capacity. In fact, although women own 50% of all privately held companies, they have access to only 5% of traditional capital. Bad Girl Ventures is a highly localized micro-lending organization focused on woman-owned startups to address this financing disparity. They provide a low-interest loan competition as well as make introductions to other small business lenders.
Why do women join the BGV family? We hear the same four reasons constantly:
- They want structure. They know that if they stick with it, they can get from point A to point C or D in just nine weeks. With homework and mentors assigned to them, there is no excuse to miss milestones.
- Being among peers is a huge plus. Running a startup is a lonely job and learning is easier if they are part of a community. With a dedicated Facebook group to alumnae, they can post their highs and lows and ask questions 24/7. Once a Bad Girl, always a Bad Girl.
- This one is usually a surprise benefit for them: networking. They are amazed how many new resources, both organizations and individuals, surround them by the time they graduate. They can start building their advisory boards and their village.
- And yes, some of them just want the money.
Bad Girl Ventures offers business classes in key functional areas such as: marketing, sales, finance, and accounting that help entrepreneurs get their businesses started and positioned for growth. Each location offers a unique curriculum, and each class is taught by successful business owners and professionals from the local community who have in-depth experience in their fields. Every class session is followed by a one hour, one-on-one coaching session where experts in the industry spend time answering questions in a “speed date” type setting.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Are you wondering about how growth looks like for your venture? Is it new revenue streams, more products, more locations? Do you know who your most profitable customers are? Are you looking for funding?
If so, I encourage you to check out the application for the BGV Launch program by February 28! Apply at: https://www.f6s.com/badgirlventuresneospring2017launch