The Tory Burch Foundation has begun seeking applications for the second annual Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program. The year-long initiative invites women entrepreneurs to apply for the program, which includes a trip to the Tory Burch headquarters in New York, access to networking, $10,000 for business education and the opportunity to participate in a pitch competition for a $100,000 grant investment.
Applications are available on toryburchfoundation.org/fellows through Nov. 10.
The Tory Burch Foundation launched the flagship program in 2015 to identify 10 fellows who will become ambassadors for women entrepreneurs. Last year, more than 500 candidates applied for the program. Thirty finalists were featured on toryburchfoundation.org, which included a national online public vote. More than 40,000 votes were cast to help select the 10 Tory Burch Fellows.
The 10 women ranged from a Houston-based Army veteran and licensed aesthetician who started her own natural skin-care line after being deployed in Afghanistan to an architectural designer who launched her own construction business focused on preserving historical trade and architecture in Detroit. Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby & Co., a Rockland, Maine-based producer of organic and vegan-friendly candy snack bars, was named the winner of the 2016 Fellowship Program’s pitch competition and was awarded the $100,000 grant.
“Women-owned businesses are transforming our economy. Last year, entrepreneurs from diverse industries across the country applied to the program,” said Laurie Fabiano, president of the Tory Burch Foundation. “It is evident that women entrepreneurs are yearning for more resources and opportunities to start and grow their businesses. As we go into the second year of the program, we are excited to be able to support and empower even more women.”
The foundation’s website, toryburchfoundation.org, features articles and interviews with business leaders and has step-by-step instructions on how to build a business plan. Over the past year, the foundation provided online tools and education to more than 200,000 female entrepreneurs and more than 8,500 women used the site to create business plans.