The Tory Burch Foundation on Monday revealed the 50 women-owned businesses selected for the fifth annual Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program.
Burch personally shared the news over a surprise Zoom call with the women entrepreneurs.
The fellowship, which receives thousands of applications annually, provides women entrepreneurs with $5,000 for business education and access to an online community of peers.
“Small businesses, especially women-owned businesses, are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis,” said Laurie Fabiano, president of the Tory Burch Foundation. “The Fellows Program is the community of support, access to resources and tools that business owners need right now,” she said.
Traditionally, the yearlong fellowship begins at the Tory Burch offices for a week of workshops, networking and mentoring from business leaders. To ensure everyone’s safety, the Tory Burch Foundation has pivoted to create virtual programming to help these women entrepreneurs navigate the challenging economic environment.
Since its launch in 2015, the foundation has provided hands-on, community-focused programming to 130 early-stage women entrepreneurs from diverse industries and communities across the country.
The women entrepreneurs hail from such industries as food, beverages, popcorn, intimates, interiors, the art world, travel, comedy training and performance center, swimwear, makeup storage boxes, and bags and backpacks. They come from such cities as Portland, Ore.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Richmond, Va.; Ketchum, Idaho; Greensboro, N.C., and Anchorage, Alaska.
Among the 50 founders who will be participating are Rene Graham of Renzo Box; Samantha Diamond of CultureConnect, Shalini Samtani of Open the Joy; Staci Lantz of Imagine Home, Viola Sutanto of Maika; Carolina Contreras of Miss Rizos Salon; Janay Brower of Public Thread; Jihan Thomson of Swivel Beauty, Lauren Napier of Lauren Napier Beauty, and Louisa Rechter of Mestiza New York.