TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced the launch of its redesigned Institute for Women Entrepreneur Excellence, Inc. (“Institute”), a program created to address the barriers to success many women face in the entrepreneurial sector.
“Women still face challenges when navigating the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Linda Singh, PhD, Institute for Women Entrepreneur Excellence executive director. “In fact, recent numbers showed that venture funding to women-led businesses decreased from the all-time high of 2.8 percent in 2019 to 2.3 percent in 2020. With this redesigned program, we are working to combat this decline, confront the unique trials that women entrepreneurs face and create a community of resources and support.”
The Institute will help to ensure Maryland continues its trajectory of being an inclusive leader in the innovation economy. The Institute evolved from two pilot programs—the Leading Women’s Program and the Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneur Excellence. Within these programs, TEDCO focused on leveraging the expertise of Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as other colleges, universities, economic development centers and counties in the State. Through this expertise, the pilot programs worked to begin building an alliance of promising, diverse, and disadvantaged women entrepreneurs in Montgomery and Howard counties; the Institute will expand this mission, building on the existing alliance.
“We are excited to continue developing an inclusive community where women entrepreneurs can find various resources available to help leverage their success,” says Tammi Thomas, chief development and marketing officer at TEDCO. “With the creation of the Institute, we are expanding on the work the two pilot programs started and creating a more inclusive, supportive community that entrepreneurs throughout Maryland can rely on. Through this community, we can build on the statistic that placed Maryland at the top, having the highest rate per capita of women business owners in the U.S.”
Applications have opened for the program’s first cohort; learn more about eligibility and how to apply here.