(February 15 — Minneapolis) The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) has awarded $300,000 in its first round of grants through We Thrive, a new program in our economic justice impact area. Through We Thrive, the Women’s Foundation will support wealth-building by investing in education and entrepreneurship with Black, Indigenous, women of color, women 25 and older, women who have low incomes, and women in greater Minnesota.
We Thrive will build capacity for organizations leading in the fields of entrepreneurship and education in two phases. In the first phase, through investment in educational institutions, the Women’s Foundation is supporting women entering high-wage, high-demand fields and roles by obtaining certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees in programs such as welding, information technology, auto mechanics, engineering, robotics, architecture, and other STEM-related fields. In the second phase, We Thrive will support Black, Indigenous, and other women of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and businesses through partnerships and investments, so they have increased access to capital, technical assistance, mentorship, and skill-building resources to grow their ideas.
With our grantee-partners and philanthropic leaders, the Women’s Foundation will invest in strategies to close the gap in generational wealth-building for BIPOC women, rural women, and gender-expansive people across Minnesota.
The first grants through the new fund support past grantee-partners from Pathways to Prosperity, a fund launched in 2014 to create unrestricted pathways through education, employment, and wealth creation.
Dunwoody College of Technology | $150,000 (Minneapolis) – To support Woman in Technical Careers (WITC), a two-year technical degree program that supports women and nonbinary students through career placement and wraparound services. Students find success through need-based scholarships to cover tuition and/or childcare, a cohort model, mentorship, intensive advising, scholarship assistance, and stipends for books and childcare.
Minnesota North College | $150,000 (Hibbing) – To support EMPOWER, a program for low-income women in rural Minnesota to build educational pathways in high-wage and high-demand training programs where women are currently underrepresented. EMPOWER has expanded educational and supportive services such as childcare, transportation, mentorship, partnerships with industries, application assistance, and connections to other campus programs for academic and social supports for women in northern Minnesota.