Five organizations announced Wednesday the launch of Woman Rise, a new statewide mentorship program for women entrepreneurs in Arkansas.
The year-long program is the first partnership of the Venture Center, Venture Noire, Wright Lindsey Jennings, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Capital Corp.
"Arkansas' women are bursting with an entrepreneurial spirit, drive, and talent, but navigating barriers to starting a business can feel impossible to even the most tenacious entrepreneurs. For women, access to good mentors is a key to overcoming many difficult challenges," said Mimi San Pedro, chief strategy officer of the Venture Center, in a news release.
"Fortunately, Arkansas has an abundance of successful women across every industry who want to serve as mentors to help remove barriers for the next generation of women," she continued. "Through Woman Rise, Arkansas's women entrepreneurs will connect with the champions they need to grow professionally."
Prospective mentors and mentees and apply for the program online through Oct. 8. A committee will review them and choose up to 20 mentors and 20 mentees for the inaugural class.
A "match" day is set for December to connect mentors and mentees, who are expected to start setting goals, performing monthly assessments, and meeting quarterly with subject matter experts on Jan. 5.
Mentees will compete for up to $10,000, earning scores based on the quality of their engagement and effort throughout the program, and will graduate in December 2022.