Applications are now open for the second annual Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program. The yearlong fellowship gives 10 women entrepreneurs a $10,000 education grant, a three-day networking and learning experience at Tory Burch headquarters in New York, and the opportunity to pitch for a much larger investment of $100,000.
The foundation was started by Tory Burch, founder of the luxury lifestyle brand that bears her name. Since its inception in February of 2004, the Tory Burch company has grown into a billion-dollar business. Its board includes influential individuals such as William E. Ford, Brigitte Kleine, Robert Isen, Roger N. Farah, and Burch herself.
From the start, Burch was interested in building more than just a business empire. “One of the reasons I wanted to start a company was to start a foundation that would benefit women and children,” she said. “It’s not about charity. It’s about helping to empower women to help themselves.”
The Tory Burch Foundation gives women entrepreneurs access to capital through a program with Bank of America to offer access to affordable loans. It also provides business and management education in partnership with Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program; and mentoring and networking opportunities with business leaders and other entrepreneurs.
The first Tory Burch Foundation Fellows are:
- Nicole Baldwin of BIAO Skincare in Houston, Texas
- Allison DeVane of Teapressa in Phoenix, Arizona
- Alexa Fleischman of Savvy Society in San Francisco, California
- Kate Glantz of Heartful.ly in Washington, D.C.
- Ericka Lassair of Diva Dawg in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Katie McAleer of Bixby & Co. in Rockland, Maine
- Emellie O’Brien of Earth Angel Sustainable Production Services in Brooklyn, New York
- Kimarie Santiago of Saltopia Artisan Infused Salts in Hackettstown, New Jersey
- Amy Swift of Building Hugger in Detroit, Michigan
- Caren Ulrich Stacy of Diversity Lab in Boulder, Colorado
The winner of the inaugural pitch competition was McAleer. She won a $100,000 investment in her company, which produces organic and vegan snack bars. She faced a panel consisting of Tory Burch, Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive, Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, and venture capitalist William Crowder.
“To win this national competition is a validator of tremendous hard work and focus to impact change and embrace my ambition to reinvent candy,” McAleer said. “Through this program I now have access to new doors, to new networks and experiences that will impact growth. This is truly life-changing.”
To apply for a Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship, visit the foundation’s website.