Brazen St. Louis Wins $90,000 Grant To Support Diversity Program For Women Entrepreneurs

Brazen St. Louis wins their largest grant yet in their fourth year of investment from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

Brazen St. Louis, an organization dedicated to helping growth-seeking women entrepreneurs advance their businesses, announced today that it has been awarded a $90,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

This is the fourth year Brazen, formerly Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, has been a recipient of funds from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and this is the largest allocation Brazen St. Louis has ever received from the foundation.

The grant will support Brazen St. Louis’ newly created Brazen St. Louis Diversity Program as well as membership programs.

The goal of Brazen is to create a global network of women-led businesses and supporters that can connect across geographies to grow their companies. The team takes a “business-first” approach to help growth-seeking entrepreneurs who identify as female (and all intersections therein) advance their businesses via continuous, immersive programming.

Number Of New Women Owned Businesses Growing Faster Than National Average

“Brazen is about shattering the glass ceiling that many women encounter in their workplaces by providing the tools they need to create their own companies where there are no ceilings in the first place,” said Jennifer Ehlen, CEO, Brazen Global. “We are grateful for the support provided by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, which will directly help more women business owners achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.”

Between 2007 and 2016, when the number of businesses in the United States increased by 9%, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45% – a rate five times the national average. And fully 78% of these net new women-owned firms (nearly 2.8 million) are firms owned by women of color, an average of 842 net new minority women-owned firms were launched each day over the past nine years.

Put simply, according to the State of Women-Owned Business Report 2016 by American Express OPEN, the number of women-owned businesses is growing at highest pace since the recession and the number of firms owned by women of color has more than doubled over past nine years.

Diversity Program

The new Brazen St. Louis Diversity Program is dedicated to reaching women entrepreneurs in underserved markets. By partnering with St. Louis-area Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) working with women entrepreneurs in significant capacities, Brazen St. Louis will provide Team Brazen-level memberships to women entrepreneurs in the programs of participating organizations.

“Our organization strives to improve the opportunities for Hispanic business owners in the St. Louis area,” said Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, Business Counselor at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. “Through our partnership with Brazen St. Louis, we’re looking to enhance the entrepreneurial opportunities for women throughout the metropolitan area, providing access to resources and insights that will further their goals.”

Grant funds will also be used to support Brazen St. Louis’ ongoing membership program, which offers members:

  • Power Hours featuring one-on-one mentoring with subject matter experts and accomplished entrepreneurs.
  • Invitations to inspirational and educational events; a minimum of 12 events are offered each year.
  • Access to curated online content and private social media channels.
  • The opportunity to create a Growth Group using proprietary software.

“JPMorgan Chase Foundation is a longtime Brazen partner for a good reason,” said Meghan Janotka, Senior Philanthropy Associate, JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “Through its programming, Brazen St. Louis is working to provide unparalleled access to the tools needed to make female entrepreneurial visions become a reality, and we are proud to support that goal.”

Get Involved

The grant will support the upcoming “Be Seen” event, which will highlight the successes of women entrepreneurs of color. The brunch event, happening Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the DK Annex, will be organized in collaborative partnership between the Balsa Foundation, DK Solutions, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis and Brazen St. Louis.

Those interested in the “Be Seen” event can join the Brazen newsletter to stay up to date and learn more as event details become available:

Partners in the diversity program include the Balsa Foundation, DK Solutions, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St Louis, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, STL Venture Works, Better Family Life, Inc., Washington University’s Olin Business School Undergraduate Program, Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Wyman Center, Connections to Success and Grace Hill Women’s Business Center.