In November 2016, The BEACON Initiative was launched with the goal of making DC the #1 city in the country for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses! BEACON’s mission is to support women entrepreneurs in four core areas:

1) Expanding women entrepreneur’s access to capital

2) Providing resources and support for women entrepreneurs

3) Creating new business opportunities for women entrepreneurs

4) Inspiring the next generation of women entrepreneurs

This initiative is the result of a collaboration between Mayor Muriel Bowser, Google and the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy. With a dedicated board, within months they had created a website and launched a DC Government funded grant program to support this community.

Here are some stats on their accomplishments so far:

  • As of August 3, 2017, there were 188 unique women-owned business listed in the directory. Following is a breakdown of types of businesses:
  • The Grant Program has 80 applications that are now in the Community Voting round to help determine which programs the grant will fund. Based upon this feedback and other criteria, $50,000 in grants will be awarded on September 15th.

So how can women entrepreneurs and other businesses support The BEACON Initiative?

Four ways we can help them make a difference:

  1. USE the directory to find the resources you need for your business. Looking for a graphic designer or SEO expert? Check the directory to see if there are any listed and reach out to them for a proposal. You might also find a great referral partner.
  2. LIST your events in the event section and look at the ones listed. There may be one that will help you expand your network or develop your skill set.
  3. VOTE for the programs you would like to see funded by the grant. The deadline is August 31st. Click here to see all of the grant proposals and to cast your vote.
  4. ENCOURAGE others you know to do the same. The more businesses, events and resources listed, the richer the community. The richer the community, the better for all of us!

We have great talent in this town! The Dell WE Cities 2017 Report ranked DC as #1 of the 50 cities scored in TALENT! Our talent plus support from the city is the perfect combination to grow a thriving ecosystem for women entrepreneurs!

So right now, let’s shine our lights on the BEACON Initiative.

Click here to register your business and see who else is on the list!

Click here to post your event or find one to attend!

Click here to vote for a program you’d like to see funded by the grant!