Spearheaded by Womenpreneurs, Utah Black Chamber, Beta Boom & Sorenson Impact, the Program Provides Capital, Community & Support
July 16, 2020 — Salt Lake City, UT — Despite the fact that black women are starting businesses faster than any other demographic, they are met with the greatest barriers to accessing funds and receive less than 1% of venture capital funding each year. To combat this disparity, four leaders within Utah’s tech and business community—Womenpreneurs, Utah Black Chamber, Beta Boom and Sorenson Impact—have come together to launch New Pattern Utah, a collaborative grant and mentorship program for black, women-owned businesses in Utah.
The “New Pattern” movement, which launched two years ago, promotes and celebrates founders from diverse backgrounds in order to change the homogenous business narratives which have dominated the mainstream. Among the many benefits of a more racially diverse business environment, the initiative emphasizes that companies who serve more heterogeneous audiences provide greater opportunities for economic growth and investment. New Pattern Utah (#NewPatternUT) follows this same philosophy and seeks to open new doors for local black business owners.
“Due to centuries of systemic oppression and discrimination, further exacerbated by Utah’s persistent wage gap, Black communities in Utah have not had the same opportunities to generate wealth as other racial groups, making it extremely challenging for many early-stage founders to secure the initial capital required to get their businesses off the ground,” said Rose Maizner, Founder of Womenpreneurs. “While the New Pattern Utah grant will not solve the systemic issues that still need to be addressed, the initiative is one small step in our commitment to continue supporting Black female founders.”
New Pattern Utah, seeded by the Community Foundation of Utah’s Social Investors Forum, provides both immediate capital as well as ongoing holistic support designed to ensure more equitable access to the larger fundraising environment.
The program leverages the unique skills, networks, and expertise of the four founding organizations—who have more than 20 years of combined experience in addressing disparities in entrepreneurship. Recipients can expect a full suite of support, including capital and coaching:
“This grant goes beyond providing capital alone by leveraging the programs and human resources that each of the founding organizations brings,” stated Kimmy Paluch, Founder of Beta Boom. “Research shows that the correlation between these kinds of catalytic resources are much stronger than just monetary distributions alone, and we’re thrilled to bring these to bear for the Black, female-owned businesses here in Utah.”
The application process has officially launched in conjunction with this announcement and will be accepted on a rolling basis. Eligible companies must have been incorporated in Utah by January 15, 2020, and have at least one Black female or non-binary founder over the age of 18. All applications will be evaluated and reviewed by a steering committee made up of business and civic leaders within the Utah community. The initial grant recipients will be announced within 6-8 weeks. Women who are interested in applying should submit an application here: https://newpattern.org/apply.
Enterprising Women is a partner in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative.
The initiative supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors — women and men — to increase the interest and confidence of young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.