BEACON Releases Report: Building Inclusive Ecosystems with Intentionality
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders Initiative Publishes Report and Recommendations on Strengthening D.C.’s Ecosystem for Women Entrepreneurs, Event hosted at Google DC
WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2018 -- BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders Initiative has published a report and recommendations on ways to strengthen D.C.’s ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. The report was unveiled during a Wednesday lunch event at Google’s D.C. offices, attended by a crowd of over 50 women entrepreneurs and ecosystem leaders.
The report, “Building Inclusive Ecosystems with Intentionality: A Strategy to Enhance Support for D.C.’s Women Founders” was authored by Deloris Wilson J.D./M.P.A., BEACON Fellow at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy, which provides strategic and operational support for BEACON.
The report recognizes the District’s strength in entrepreneurship, including its growing number of women-owned businesses at a time when national levels are on the decline. However, it also identifies key areas where the ecosystem to support for diverse women entrepreneurs could be strengthened and improved. The report provides recommendations in four core areas:
Increasing access to capital by acting with intention when targeting, engaging with and funding women and minority-owned companies;
Improving the organization and quality of resource delivery within D.C.’s entrepreneurial ecosystem;
Creating new business opportunities by alleviating administrative burdens, promoting consumer-centric models, and mobilizing community partners for marketing and contracting opportunities; and
Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs by integrating youth outreach into existing initiatives and expanding curricular offerings within school-based programs.
An Executive Summary of the report can be found here.
Launch of BEACON 2018 Community Campaigns
During Wednesday’s event, BEACON will unveiled four community campaigns it is leading in 2018 centered on recommendations derived from the report. These “community campaigns” will see members of the BEACON community--entrepreneurs, resource providers, and local business owners--working together on events and activations to create new opportunities in the District. For example, one such campaign will focus on mobilizing a “BEACON Next Generation Network” of local businesses that commit to supporting youth entrepreneurship initiatives across all eight wards.
BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders’ Initiative is a community-led campaign to make Washington, D.C. the most influential and supportive city for women entrepreneurs in the United States. As a collaborative effort led by local entrepreneurs, service providers, policy experts and community leaders, BEACON aims to recognize and address gaps in services to better support women entrepreneurs.
BEACON is led by a Board of 11 volunteer leaders from D.C.’s entrepreneurship and policy ecosystem and receives strategic and operational support from Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy and Google. Among other projects, BEACON runs an annual grant program for innovative projects to support D.C.’s women entrepreneurs and operates the District’s largest directory of women-owned businesses and resources for women entrepreneurs. BEACON leads campaigns to address issues affecting women entrepreneurs, identifies speaking and vending opportunities for women business owners, and produces a biweekly newsletter showcasing resources and opportunities that reaches over 2000 subscribers.
You can read more about BEACON’s activities here.