The following questions and responses are provided to assist in understanding the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. If you have additional questions, please submit your inquiry to email@example.com.
What is the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative?
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) is a municipally funded program initiated through the intergovernmental agreement between the City of Atlanta and Atlanta’s economic development authority, Invest Atlanta. Our mission is to elevate, engage and empower entrepreneurship through women.
WEI functions as a 15-month incubator for women in entrepreneurship, providing women with access to city resources, workspace, educational workshops, and mentoring opportunities.
Graduates of the program are equipped with the skills to achieve sustainable growth and success for their business, ultimately contributing to economic development within Atlanta.
Who is eligible to apply to WEI?
Women-led, early-stage startups in the Atlanta area are eligible to apply to the WEI cohort. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- The business must be 100 percent woman-owned
- The founder must be licensed to do business in the City of Atlanta and have a valid, up-to-date business license on file with the City of Atlanta
- The business must have substantiated proof of revenue generated by the ventures’ operations
- Must employ three or fewer people (including the founder)
Who is not eligible to apply to WEI?
The applicant may not be:
- A current City of Atlanta or Invest Atlanta employee or employee of any affiliated agencies or branches, or an immediate family member (parent, child, spouse or sibling or spouse, regardless of where they reside) or living in the same households, whether or not related.
- An elected official, an employee of the City of Atlanta or any affiliated agencies or branches, or a member of their immediate families (parent, child, spouse or sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) or living in their same households, whether or not related.
- An immediate relative (parent, child, spouse or sibling or spouse) of a member of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board.
- A vendor (example: website designers, etc.) affiliated with the development and implementation of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.
How many businesses are accepted into each WEI Cohort?
15 businesses are selected for each WEI Cohort.
How long is the WEI program?
The WEI program is 15 months.
What resources does WEI have for women entrepreneurs?
Women in the program have access to practical business education, mentorship engagement, financial literacy assistance and business support services, including co-working space at the collaborative WEI Incubator space in downtown Atlanta at the historic Flatiron Building.
The curriculum includes Four-Pillar Programming focused on 1) Business Analysis 2) Learning & Leadership Development 3) Strategic Partnerships as well as 4) Funding Opportunities.
WEI is actively planning new programs and events for the broader community of female entrepreneurs in Atlanta. Check our social media for announcements to come!
Does WEI provide funding to businesses?
Although funding is not guaranteed, WEI may award grants through special partner donations in the future. Check our social media for announcements to come!
While the City of Atlanta does not serve as a funding source to private businesses, we collaborate with partner organizations that specialize in financial capital resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Where is WEI located?
WEI is located in downtown Atlanta’s iconic Flatiron Building – the city’s oldest standing skyscraper. Our address is 84 Peachtree NW, 11th Floor, Atlanta GA 30303.
When will applications for the next WEI Cohort open?
Applications are expected to open December 2022.
How can I apply to the next WEI Cohort?
Applications will be available on our website at https://www.weiatlanta.com. Also, please check our social media for announcements.
What is the selection process for WEI?
While the process remains fluid, the following steps describe the overall process:
- Written applications submitted
- High scoring applicants invited to interview in person for consideration of pitch presentation to a member of the selection committee
- High scoring interviewees invited to deliver pitch presentations to the full selection committee
- Highest scoring pitch-round applicants selected for entry into WEI.
Do I have to complete the application online?
Does WEI require an in-person interview or presentation?
Yes, applicants who are selected to advance past the written application will be required to participate in an in-person interview and pitch presentation.
Do I need a business plan to apply to WEI?
Applicants are not required to provide a business plan, but are strongly encouraged to provide a business plan or business model canvas. It will be critical for the applicant to fully identify and articulate key metrics specific to the operation and functionality of the business throughout the application process, and as such, a current business plan or business model canvas is highly recommended.
Do I have to live in Atlanta to be a part of the WEI cohort?
No, however you must have a valid and up-to-date business license on file with the City of Atlanta at the time of the application submission.
How often is a new cohort announced?
A new cohort is announced every other year. WEI expects to announce a new cohort in Q1 2023.
I have more questions about the application process. How do I reach WEI?
You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions.
What partnership opportunities does WEI offer?
WEI cultivates partnerships with community & business leaders to facilitate workshops and webinars focused on our Four Pillars; and share best practices specific to entrepreneurship.
Our partners understand the purpose of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, advocate for increased accessibility for women in entrepreneurship, and value civic responsibility towards economic development.
If you are interested in being a partner of WEI, contact us as email@example.com
Does WEI have employment opportunities for students?
Yes, WEI offers internship opportunities. Check here to see if any internships are open.
Does WEI have events for those not in the cohort?
WEI is actively planning new programs and events for the broader community of women entrepreneurs in Atlanta. Check our website and social media for announcements to come!
Can I rent a desk at the WEI space in the Flatiron?
No, not at this time.
Are you able to help business in the conceptual start-up stage?
No, not at this time. To be a part of the WEI cohort, you must have an established business model, a customer base, as well as a business license with the City of Atlanta.
WEI is working on future programming that will be accessible to women at various stages of start-up development.