Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, are investing more than $400,000 to strengthen and support Latina entrepreneurs and small business owners as they battle challenges posed by COVID-19.
Latina entrepreneurs and small business owners can now apply for a $5,000 grant through the Ford Driving Dreams Latina Entrepreneurs program. In addition, monthly webinars are being planned for early 2021 to provide critical educational resources, networking opportunities, and other business development tools for Latina entrepreneurs as they weather the global pandemic.
“Minority and women-owned small businesses have been especially hard hit during COVID-19,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our goal is to provide much-needed resources to help minimize the economic uncertainty that many Latina small-business owners, their families, employees, and surrounding communities are all experiencing during these unprecedented times.”
The Latina Entrepreneurs program was announced during a virtual event, “Juntas Podemos: How to Adapt to Changes and Market Trends.” The event, which featured a panel of entrepreneurs that shared advice for Latina small-business owners, was the first of many online events that will be offered as part of the new initiative.
Throughout the first quarter of 2021, several online training sessions and webinars will be offered, covering topics such as financial planning, funding opportunities, branding, technology, and communications tools, among others. Webinars will be offered for Ford Driving Dreams grant recipients and will be accessible to the public, as well.
The Ford Driving Dreams Latina Entrepreneurs initiative is being implemented in collaboration with eMerge Americas and the National Development Council. Small-business owners interested in applying can visit www.FordDrivingDreams.com to complete an online grant application and view program guidelines, timing, and details. Winners will be announced in early December.
The Ford Driving Dreams Latina Entrepreneurs initiative adds to Ford Fund’s long-standing commitment to driving socio-economic mobility in Latino communities across the U.S. and Latin America. The new program is an extension of Ford Fund’s signature Ford Driving Dreams initiative that has delivered more than $10 million in scholarships and educational resources for over 200,000 middle and high school students across the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Europe.
The new Latina Entrepreneurs program is the latest example of how Ford Fund is providing assistance during the global pandemic. To date, Ford Fund has contributed nearly $3 million to assist nonprofits and community organizations helping people manage challenges related to COVID-19, including more than $1.1 million raised by employees and others through its COVID-19 Donation Match program.