About

The community-led DC Women Founders’ Initiative

Our Mission

​Women’s entrepreneurship is on the rise, but data show that women still face disproportionate challenges gaining access to capital and other resources that businesses need to thrive.

​Just one in ten venture dollars goes to companies with a women founder.  On average, women start their businesses with half the capital of men.  Women of color face even greater barriers: of 10,284 venture deals funded from 2012-2014, just 24 involved startups led by black women—about 0.2 percent.

BEACON: The DC Women Founders Initiative is a community-led campaign to disrupt that narrative.

Our goal is to make Washington, DC a model city to demonstrate how investors, companies, mentors and government can work together to ensure women entrepreneurs have an equal opportunity to succeed.  Partnering with public and private entities, the Initiative will make Washington, DC the most influential and supportive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in the United States.

BEACON launched during National Entrepreneurship month in November 2016, with a public event in partnership with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Our Team

AERICA SHIMIZU BANKS

Google (Patent Policy)

ALEXANDRA GIVENS

Georgetown Law School (Executive Director, Institute for Technology Policy)

SHELLY BELL

Black Girl Vision (Entrepreneur & Founder)

NATALIE COFIELD

Walker's Legacy (Founder)

XINA EILAND

Black Female Founders; X+PR (Founder)

SHANA GLENZER

MakeOffices (CMO)

MARIANA HUBERMAN

Cartier Chevy Chase & Tysons Galleria (COO), The UPS Store #5259 (Owner)

ANNA MASON

Revolution (Director of Investments, Rise of the Rest)

JOY WHITT

Office of the DC Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (Program Analyst)

Our Sponsors