After announcing her global venture to support female entrepreneurs, Ingrid Vanderveldt has rolled out a business foundation.
The former Dell Inc. entrepreneur-in-residence said Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 features a so-called “business in a box” platform with back-office software. The new business also includes $100 million in available credit — through several lenders including Dell Financial Services — to be dispersed during the next 12 months.
Best known for her motivational speeches and support of entrepreneurs, Vanderveldt said Empowering a Billion Women goes further by providing budding executives with practical tools.
The Austin-based venture includes a foundation focusing on women-related policies and women in the developing nations. The business side of the startup provides mentors and business plans in addition to software products designed to provide entrepreneurs with tools Vanderveldt has already tried herself.
“We’re like an aggregator,” she said. “How many times has an entrepreneur asked me what type of software I’d recommend? We’ve pulled together the solutions I’ve used to pull together ventures.”
The company, which employs four workers, is providing three subscription levels. The first is free and enables members to get discounts combined with access to videos and webinars. The company also offers a $19-per-month subscription that includes access to the platform, training programs and a private Facebook group.
The premium membership, which requires a $299 setup cost and $49 in monthly fees, features the platform coupled with training in addition to a mentor who provides 30-minute monthly coaching sessions and develops a business plan with the entrepreneur.
Vanderveldt began working on the Empowering a Billion Women model while at Round Rock-based Dell. She announced the mentorship program at the South By Southwest festival in March. At that time, she said the goal was putting a mobile device in the hands of every woman globally.
The singular issue that keeps women from leadership is lack of confidence, she said. And the mentorship segment of Empowering a Billion Women is a crucial part of the equation.
“People build confidence when they can take action,” Vanderveldt said. “And people can take action when they find a mentor.”
Author: Brenn Dowdy
Brenn Dowdy is a student at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. She studies journalism and women studies and finds interest in queer literature, poetry, sexuality and gender, and feminist theory. Brenn has done community service work with Planned Parenthood, The Feminist Majority Foundation, Montana Indian Ministries, The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and Roan Mountain State Park in Tennessee and has written for Your Tango, The News Hub, Latina Lista, El Nuevo Tennessean as well as her campus newspaper as an opinion columnist.