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The BOSS Network and Sage Award $250,000 to Black Women Entrepreneurs Through Grant Program

Gaby M. Rojas

 The BOSS Network, an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through digital content, programs and event-based networking, and Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses, announced the 25 awardees of the 2024 Invest in Progress Grant to support Black women entrepreneurs in their first five years of business.

The BOSS Network and Sage’s “Invest in Progress” grant is a three-year, $1.5 million commitment via the Sage Foundation to support the BOSS Impact Fund, which is focused on raising investment funding for 500+ black women-led businesses and preparing entrepreneurs to build scalable, growth aggressive companies.

In January 2024, participants were invited to apply for the “Invest in Progress” grant, which offered 25 Black women entrepreneurs across the United States, the opportunity to receive a capital investment of $10,000 toward successfully starting and growing their business, in addition to an entrepreneurial mentor program in support of Black women-owned small businesses.

The partnership, in its third year, received over 12,000 applicants nationwide. This year’s winners also feature four members from each of the Divine Nine sororities—including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated—the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated, and the Chicago Urban League. The final 25 awardees represent entrepreneurs from various industries, including Beauty & Self-Care, IT Solutions, Travel, Healthcare, Professional Services, and Food and Beverage.

The BOSS Network and Sage “Invest in Progress” grant includes a 12-month program of entrepreneurial mentorship, coaching, connections, and education focused on knocking down barriers to business success and guiding these businesswomen to reach their full potential. Each “Invest in Progress” grant awardee receives:

  • $10,000 USD in funding
  • Quarterly business training courses through BOSS Business University sponsored by Sage, focusing on marketing, finance, customer service, and business strategy
  • Access to The BOSS Network online community
  • Complimentary Sage Business Cloud Accounting software

“The BOSS Network has been proud to have Sage as a partner of the Invest in Progress Grant, as a part of our BOSS Impact Fund. As we celebrate our three-year mark, we are pleased to say that this investment has greatly impacted the lives of 85 Black women entrepreneurs—who have each received $10,000 to fund their businesses,” says Dr. Cameka Smith, CEO and founder of The BOSS Network. “It is widely known that less than 1 percent of minority founders get investment funding for the start of their small businesses. There is also the challenge of Black female founders being indiscriminately targeted simply for fighting for equity and fairness at the table. With the continued help of supporters such as Sage, The BOSS Network will remain committed to giving Black women entrepreneurs the resources they need to win.”

“The Chicago Urban League continues to emphasize the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses,” says Kelly Evans, VP of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “This program not only provides funding but empowers business owners with a supportive network of professionals invested in their success.”

“We are inspired by the perseverance and potential of the awardees selected for the third year of the “Invest in Progress” grant,” says Cadence Willis, VP, Sage Foundation. “Sage is proud to support these women by continuing our commitment to help underserved communities start and grow successful businesses.”

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