FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Becky Pittman
New Mentorship Program To Drive Professional Growth for Arkansas’s Women Entrepreneurs
Woman Rise mentorship program accepting applications through October 8, 2021
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. September 8, 2021 – The Venture Center, Venture Noire, Wright Lindsey Jennings, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Arkansas Capital Corp today announced the launch of Woman Rise, a new statewide mentorship program bringing Arkansas’s women entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop life-changing relationships to drive professional growth. Woman Rise marks the first partnership between the organizations and brings unprecedented experience, tools, and access to resources.
Mentorship can help women navigate barriers, build confidence, and hone the leadership skills needed to own and operate a business successfully. Today, women are experiencing significant career shifts, and many are starting businesses as a result. Woman Rise’s mentorship program will support these women and women who have long been entrepreneurs but not had access to mentors.
“Arkansas’s women are bursting with an entrepreneurial spirit, drive, and talent, but navigating barriers to starting a business can feel impossible to even the most tenacious entrepreneurs. For women, access to good mentors is a key to overcoming many difficult challenges,” said Mimi San Pedro, Chief Strategy Officer of The Venture Center. “Fortunately, Arkansas has an abundance of successful women across every industry who want to serve as mentors to help remove barriers for the next generation of women. Through Woman Rise, Arkansas’s women entrepreneurs will connect with the champions they need to grow professionally.”
Applications to be a mentor or a mentee for the Woman Rise class of 2022 are open through October 8, 2021. The Woman Rise committee will review applications and choose up to 20 mentors and 20 mentees. A “match” day will follow in December to connect mentors and mentees. Beginning January 5, 2022, matched mentors and mentees will set goals and perform assessments monthly, and meet quarterly with subject matter experts equipped to address a range of business challenges and opportunities.
Mentees will compete for up to $10,000, earning scores based on the quality of engagement and effort throughout the year-long program. In December 2022, mentees will graduate from the program with new skills and networks to keep successfully managing and growing their businesses.
Arkansas residents from any industry are encouraged to apply by October 8, 2021. To learn more about Woman Rise or to apply to be a program participant, please visit www.venturecenter.co/womanrise.
About The Venture Center
The Venture Center is a globally recognized Arkansas-based Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO) that helps entrepreneurs turn their start-ups into viable, high-growth businesses. By leveraging the expertise of a world-class team of mentors, intensive programming, and introductions to the investor community, The Venture Center serves as an engine for economic growth in Arkansas and beyond.
The mission of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout Arkansas.
About Venture Noire
Venture Noire is a 510c3 accredited non-profit diversity, equity and inclusion partner. Venture Noire was formed to build confidence and profitability in underrepresented founders and entrepreneurs of color through curriculum, community and access to capital. Through its programming, Venture Noire is on a mission to accelerate communities of color by catalyzing the success of minority-owned businesses in the digital economy. Venture Noire’s ecosystem includes dozens of minority-owned start-ups that are on the cutting edge of technology, innovation and creativity.
About Wright Lindsey Jennings
Founded in 1900, Wright Lindsey Jennings is one of the premier law firms in the state. In 2019, the firm launched Woman-Run, a statewide initiative to connect current and aspiring woman business leaders and owners through networking, mentorship, education and resources. The firm received the 2020 Olivia Farrell Gender Equity Leadership Award and, in 2019, the Arkansas Community Foundation honored Wright Lindsey Jennings with a Smart Corporate Giving Award. WLJ has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Arkansas since 2018. Today, the firm has 67 attorneys practicing in Little Rock and Rogers. Vist www.WLJ.com to learn more.
About Arkansas Capital
Arkansas Capital is a private, nonprofit lending corporation dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs in Arkansas. Arkansas Capital offers flexible capital solutions to meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and economic and community development projects throughout Arkansas and surrounding states, with emphasis on low-income and rural communities. Working in partnership with commercial banks, government agencies, and others at the local, state, regional, and national levels, Arkansas Capital has deployed more than $2 billion in capital financing.