Women social entrepreneurs compete for cash in ‘Shark Tank’-style competition

A dozen women-owned companies seeking investment for their business ideas and startups are vying for a slice of the $50,000 prize money in a pitch competition Wednesday night at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn.

The “Shark Tank”-style competition — dubbed EmpowerHER — is a project run by the Michigan Women’s Foundation and underwritten by the Ford Motor Co. Fund, which put up the prize money and an additional $90,000 for entrepreneur workshops and training. The finalists —  all from metro Detroit, except one from East Lansing — will pitch their ideas  in front of a panel of judges, that include Susan Gordon, managing director at Mission Throttle and Pamela Alexander, the director of community development for the Ford Motor Co. Fund.

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Women’s business competition EmpowerHER names its winners

Three businesses owned by women have won cash in a “Shark Tank”-style competition dubbed EmpowerHER run by the Michigan Women’s Foundation and underwritten by the Ford Motor Co. Fund. The Ford fund put up the prize money and an additional $90,000 for entrepreneur workshops and training. Motor City STEAM and Women Who Weld of Detroit each won $7,500 in services from Mission Throttle.

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Focus: HOPE develops half-century strategic plan

Working with nonprofit consultancy and investment firm Mission Throttle, Anthony said, Focus: Hope developed a strong strategic plan to assure it can stabilize the benefits of the restructuring process and build a future that is “measurable, impactful and consistent with its mission and new vision of empowerment and education.” While the nonprofit has been focused on programs for many years, Anthony said they also need to look at other issues that affect area residents.

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Michigan Women Forward offers $10 million to support women entrepreneurs

Mission Throttle is honored to have worked with Michigan Women Forward for the past two years to provide the research, analysis, and strategy to support the launch of  Community Impact Notes. We are thrilled to have been a part of this important program that will provide critical operational and financial resources necessary to accelerate women-owned businesses. Mission Throttle is committed to creating sustainable, replicable solutions to complex problems. It is our hope that this model will not only benefit women-owned businesses in the city of Detroit, but throughout State of Michigan. 


Detroit-based nonprofit Michigan Women Forward will offer $10 million in community impact notes to support Michigan’s women entrepreneurs. The $10 million Michigan Women Forward Community Impact Note offering is modeled after a similar program the Maryland-based Calvert Impact Capital Inc. offers to fund microloans, or make loans for buildings such as schools or affordable housing, Cassin said.

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