New Winston-Salem Program Helping
Women Launch and Grow Businesses

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (June 28, 2016) – A new local initiative has been launched in Winston-Salem to help women launch, fund, and grow businesses. innovateHER, headquartered in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, was created to empower local women by offering programs and services focused on entrepreneurial education, startups, and business growth.  The nonprofit project, which began offering services in June, is housed in the Flywheel Coworking space and is being made available through a fiscal sponsorship from the Flywheel Foundation. The program kicks off its event series in July with its signature innovateHER Weekend Workshop, a ‘bootcamp’ for aspiring and existing business owners.

“Women entrepreneurs experience very unique challenges and barriers to entry and business growth”, shared Winston-Salem resident Fay Horwitt, who is spearheading the project. “In 2015, North Carolina dropped to 20th in the country when it came to woman-owned businesses’ growth in employees and ranked even lower – 45th – in terms of revenue growth. There are a number of external and internal factors that affect this trend; innovateHER has been created to help local women navigate these barriers and experience growth.”
innovatHER will initially offer workshops, one-on-one coaching, networking and web-based resources for local women founders. In its first two weeks of operation, the initiative has served over fifty women through its office hours, weekly email blasts, and Facebook networking group.  Local entrepreneur Karen Cuthrell, has already seen results from her innovateHER coaching sessions. “My experience with InnovateHER has been phenomenal. They are developing a strategy for us that will continue our organic growth as well as prepare us for investment.”

The group’s efforts have already attracted sponsorships from the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Forsyth Woman Magazine, as well as the Flywheel Foundation and a strategic partnership with the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center, all of whom are are eager to help women achieve greater success in business and grow diversity in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. “innovateHER is a great addition to our community”, stated FTSBC Director, Allan Younger. “Women need to know about and access the resources available to support their success.” 

The services being offered are also in direct alignment with the nonprofit call-to-action in the 2015 Economic Security Report issued by the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem which encouraged organizations to support women in bridging the gender wage gap through programs that focus on career choice, education/skills, networking, mentorships, and/or preparing for leadership and management positions.

The initiative hopes to facilitate a network of local women entrepreneurs that are supporting, learning from, and investing in each other. Raina Haque, who owns a local intellectual property law firm, extols the importance of the network. “My law firm was supported and built from the invaluable mentorship and championing I got from a community of woman entrepreneurs and other woman professionals; every woman should have that opportunity. innovateHER is a great source of education and empowerment.”

That emerging network is set to gather July 15-16 for the first innovateHER Weekend Workshop. Special guest speaker for the event will be entrepreneur, author, and former WFMY and WGHP news anchor Carol Andrews; the featured presenter will be local business phenom, Vikki Spencer, known online as the “Mom Whisperer”. Additional speakers will address topics spanning both business and personal success. Spencer is excited about the potential impact of the weekend experience for participants.  “This weekend aims to build relationships while providing resources, answers, direction and encouragement. It is an ‘an open arms, come as you are, and test the waters’ opportunity to invest in their future.”

The innovateHER Weekend Workshop begins with an evening session on Friday, July 15 from 5:30pm – 9:00pm and continues with a full day on Saturday, July 16 from 8:00am to 9:00pm. The registration fee is $30. Additional information can be found and tickets purchased online at www.innovateHER.org.

About innovateHER
innovateHER is a nonprofit initiative on a mission to foster economic development in North Carolina by creating, equipping and supporting local communities of women entrepreneurs. They are commited to supporting regional ecosystems by helping female-led businesses launch, grow, create jobs and become major contributors to their local community. Through these efforts they hope to help women across the region overcome systemic, cultural, and financial barriers to sustainable business success.  innovateHER is located at 525 Vine St., Suite 210 in the Flywheel Coworking space.  The phone number is 336-671-6261.  . The web address is www.innovateHER.org.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Fay Horwitt at 336.671.6261 or email at fayh@innovateHER.org."

- A Press Release

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