“I’ll be honest, with a computer science degree and years of experience in the start-up business world, I never thought I’d have to give up my career after having a family.”
-Eva Monsen, Board President and Data Engineering Consultant
How many parents can identify with that statement, especially moms? This statement, along with so many like it, and the fact that it JUST ISN’T GETTING EASIER to raise children in today’s world, lead many to believe that it is possible to “Lean-In” too far! That’s why a group of business women, freelancers and stay-at-home parents came together over a year ago, sat down in a conference room, and decided we can make the system work better.
Our founding group of more than fourteen dedicated moms - and dads - came up with a simple plan. We formed the Women’s Business Incubator, an organization that will help simplify entrepreneurship for women in business, in their career, and for their families. We formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 in order to help women at every level and provide more services that women need - all in one place.
Our focus is on the five areas we identified as problematic for women and you can help us reduce these barriers right now! These five focus areas will help women succeed as entrepreneurs, as small business owners and in their freelance careers and include:
- Leadership Training Circles;
- Micro-loans and Access to Financing;
- Mentorship, Training and Business Services;
- Professional Office Space and Business Services; AND
- Quality drop-in childcare services for infants thru pre-K.
Open Office and Coworking Space
The backbone of WBI will be the full service coworking space and work hub, building a community of small businesses with special programs for small business and start-up businesses that help our communities.
What is a coworking space and why would it be valuable to a group of women owned businesses? Coworking has become a rapidly growing movement over the past decade, growing from just a few intentional work communities to over 10,000 individual work spaces worldwide, and has proven effective in helping grow local communities, make individuals feel more productive, and launch and incubate new business.
The Women’s Business Incubator will provide a productive office environment, mentorship, community building, access to internet and training. Everything a business needs to get started. The experience of our board of directors includes a wide variety of areas including starting and running a successful coworking space, social media & marketing, public relations, data engineering, business management, human resources and social entrepreneurship.
Membership for the Women’s Business Incubator will be open to the public. With your help and the help of our community, we will be able to provide sliding scale memberships as well as provide much needed microloans for small businesses to get started – increasing the number of opportunities for businesses and start-ups across a broad economic range.
Quality Drop-in Preschool
Quality, on-site preschool will be provided that allows for the flexible needs of parents with young children. Drop-in hours will be available initially between 9am-1pm, Monday - Friday - with high demand we will increase to 9am-5pm. Each day and week will have regularly scheduled activities that your child will love.
Parents understand. By reducing your drop-off time, combining your work shifts with play time, and knowing the people around you, you will be saving time, stress and money! Preschools can help grow like-minded communities too and will increase your ability to find other care, quality baby sitters, and opportunities to coordinate with other parents. We can get this started today with your help!
With available on-site childcare services and space, we will also be able to provide care for your child - at any age - during educational training workshops and networking events - programs necessary to help you grow your business!
With continued demand and strong financial support from the community, the Women’s Business Incubator will seek to expand from an onsite preschool to licensed childcare for infants through Pre-K aged children, with possible growth to after-school care and holiday camps.
Nurturing Leadership: Circle Leadership Model
We will be hosting workshops and events that bring women together to create strong peer networks focused on entrepreneurship, mentorship, and financial well being. We are working with local and national partners to create opportunities to participate in and secure funding from no-interest micro-loans.
Through our Leadership Circles, we will explore opportunities for impact in our own communities, making them stronger, more vibrant and supportive of small businesses.
Microloans for Small Businesses
Mentorship and Business Development
Leadership Circle participants will volunteer as mentors. Mentors will be vested in the businesses success as a member of a larger investment team. Beyond mentorship, WBI will provide guidance and support navigating the dizzying array of business requirements: everything from state and federal licensing to taxes and human resources. Classes with on-site childcare will be offered on a regular basis to keep new business owners up to speed.