Foundation fund

BasBlue launches a foundation to support entrepreneurs in Detroit

Women’s and non-binary organization BasBlue has launched two scholarship programs for entrepreneurs to access capital and business incubation.

The scholarship programs are part of the new BasBlue Foundation, and so far the organization has raised $600,000 for the fund. The foundation had an initial goal of raising $2 million by the end of 2023, and it has since grown to a goal of $6 million over the next three years.

“It was part of our strategic priorities over time not only for these women (BasBlue members) to come together for educational opportunities, but also to be able to support women by providing capital for entrepreneurship, ideation stage through development and creation of pitches,” said Miah Davis, Head of Engagement and Philanthropy at BasBlue.

A The program receiving funding is the BasBlue Zero-to-One Fellowship, which helps participants for one year to access early-stage capital, financial and legal planning, coaching and mentoring.

Grace Wojcik, Head of Impact and Program at BasBlue, said this program will be “is for people looking to bring an idea to life for a business, whether it’s a product or a service. This scholarship will give them the tools to do so successfully.

The BasBlue House on Ferry Street in Detroit on October 13, 2021. When BasBlue opens in late October, it will be a membership organization for women to join and support other women in Metro Detroit with a space to work , meet, get mentorship, help, advice and career guidance.

At the end of the fellowship, participants will receive a small business grant. Applications for the scholarship will open next week and it is open to the public, not just members of the organization. Four to eight fellows will be selected this year, Wojcik said.

The foundation’s second scholarship, called the Founders + Fund(Her)s program, will help founders who are in the early stages of their ventures.

“We’re really interested in creating the next generation of business owners, creators, designers, anything you can think of, and our initiation, our gateway, are these scholarship programs” , Davis said.

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Funding partners for the first $600,000 include the Total Health Care Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and the Remington Group, according to a press release.

Shannon Wilson, executive director of the Total Health Care Foundation, said in a press release that the Total Health Care Foundation and Priority Health “strongly believe that removing barriers to wellness has a positive impact on the community. The BasBlue Foundation responds to this same belief by providing grassroots support to women and helping to identify a path to success.

The foundation is committed to focusing on access, incubation and growth, said Wojcik of BasBlue.

“We know we’re not the first and only to offer this type of program, but we wanted to be an additional resource for entrepreneurs in the area,” she said. “And we work with different neighborhood organizations, which also offer different vocational training, professional development courses that can support entrepreneurs.”

A meeting takes place with staff and others in one of several meeting rooms inside the BasBlue home on Ferry Street in Detroit on October 13, 2021. When BasBlue opens in late October, it will be a membership organization for women to join and support other women across metro Detroit with a space to work, meet, get mentoring help as well as career counseling and guidance.

The organization started in October 2021 to connect women and non-binary people in Detroit, and it’s nearing a milestone of 700 members. He plans to host a volunteer cleanup day with Arise Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools Community District from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 6, with the hope of having 100 people in attendance.

To learn more about scholarships, visitbasblueus.com/foundation.

To register for Volunteer Day, visit basblueus.com/volunteer.

Contact editor Chanel Stitt on Twitter: @ByChanelStitt. Become a subscriber Where offer a subscription.