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Women Founders

The University of Maryland has been and continues to be the launchpad for thousands of entrepreneurs, innovators, business owners, and creatives; many of whom are female founders, inventors, investors and artists.

Entrepreneurship Content

  • Fabulous Fempreneurship - No matter what stage your entrepreneurship business is in, the blog can help with tips and strategies as you start, grow, scale up and fund your business.
  • Female Entrepreneur Association - Is an online hub designed to inspire women and help them turn their ideas and dreams into reality. The blog covers topics such as business basics, marketing and business growth, mindset and personal development, money and finance, and systems and productivity.
  • Green Room by Backstage Capital
  • Golden Seeds
  • Ladies Get Paid
  • See Girl Work - The blog’s mission is to curate valuable business and lifestyle content for ambitious, entrepreneurial-minded women.
  • She Did It Her Way - This blog founded by Amanda Boleyn includes practical tips to help entrepreneurs with both business efficiency and personal growth.
  • Springboard's Alumnae Blog - This blog features posts written by Alumnae of Springboard.
  • Dear Female Founder: 66 Letters of Advice from Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Made $1 Billion in Revenue - Showcases a diverse spectrum of women, who have done and achieved amazing things in entrepreneurship.
  • Girl Code -  It is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs, professional women, side hustlers and anyone in-between to start sharing what they’ve learned to make each other better.
  • Living the Confidence Code - This book empowers the next generation of young women to make a difference in the world.
  • Own It: The Power of Women At Work - In this book, you’ll learn how to weaponize traits you might have originally seen as disadvantages into true strengths.
  • Rage Becomes Her - A transformative book urging twenty-first century-women to embrace their anger and harness it as a tool for lasting personal and societal change.
  • The Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs - This landmark book is based on 200 interviews with today’s leading entrepreneurs including the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, Jetblue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos, and Dropbox.
  • The Gift of Struggle - This book explores how our struggles teach us the lessons that will ultimately inform and guide our more authentic leadership philosophy.
  • The Multi-Hyphen Method - The book teaches the reader that it doesn't matter if you're a part-time PA with a blog, or a nurse who runs an online store in the evenings - whatever your ratio, whatever your mixture, we can all channel our own entrepreneurial spirit to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives.
  • Unladylike - A field guide for identifying, understanding, and uprooting the creepy, crawly patriarchal species women and girls encounter throughout society’s ecosystem — and reclaiming the space they take up. Simply put, it’s the guide for women and girls everywhere who are trying to find their way in the world.
  • You Are a Badass - This book helps you uncover your burning tenacity as an entrepreneur.  It’s not only educational, but also a very entertaining read for female entrepreneurs. It’s a great motivational read for female entrepreneurs who need that extra push to keep hustling to make their business a success.
  • Ask A Manager - She is no longer releasing new episodes of the Ask a Manager podcast (a partnership with HowStuffWorks), but you can find all the earlier episodes below. On each show, I took calls and talked directly with listeners about how to deal with clueless coworkers, toxic bosses, impossible employees, and much more
  • Bootstrapped VC Backstage Capital - Founder & Managing Partner, Arlan Hamilton, hosts this behind the scenes to show you what it's like to build a fund from scratch, and give you deep insights into what investors are really looking for.
  • Bossing It - A podcast for women in business brought to you by entrepreneur Lara Sheldrake.
  • Career Chaser - In this podcast, Latesha Byrd provides encouragement, accountability, and a strategic approach to navigating the nuances of the working woman. 
  • Dare to Lead - Brené Brown has conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters and more than a few troublemakers who are innovating, creating, and daring to lead.
  • Fabulous Fempreneurship - A collection of podcasts by a variety of exports on a wide range of subjects to help women entrepreneurs. 
  • hey, girl. - This podcast unites the voices of phenomenal women near and far. Created with sisterhood and storytelling in mind, author Alex Elle sits down with people who inspire her. From friends to family members and strangers, the guests give you a peek into their stories through candid and intimate conversations.
  • Raise the Bar - Frankie Cotton hosts a series of intimate conversations with leaders who are making an impact. Interviewing startup founders, business leaders, researchers, creators, politicians and activists, Raise The Bar examines how we can work and live better. From creating multi-million dollar companies to progressing women’s rights and building ethical technology, Raise The Bar explores it all through a female lens.
  • $how Her the Money - Host Diondraya Taylor talks to women in Venture Capital and learns about their passion for investing in female founders. Listen to hear about business, mindset & entrepreneurship!
  • The Broad Experience - A 25-minute podcast hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte that tackles some of the big issues facing women in the workplace - things we think about, but don't always talk about.
  • Unladylike - Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin investigate how sisters are doin' it for themselves in spite of all those unwritten but all-too-real bullsh*t expectations of how we should live our lives.
  • Unlocking Us - Brené Brown has conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.
  • Your First Million - A podcast by Arlan Hamilton that goes behind-the-scenes and teaches you how to make your first million dollars, get your first million downloads, or find your first million customers. Arlan is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, has raised more than $10M, and has invested in over 100 companies led by people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ.
  • Ascend - Shivani Berry interviews women leaders at top companies about influencing difficult stakeholders, empowering their teams, and managing failure. Listen to open and honest conversations with these inspiring leaders about how they’ve succeeded at work.
  • Female Founders Lead the Way - A playlist of women entrepreneurs, female founders, and women in VC.
  • The Shatter Summit (March 10, 2021) - An event held live on Zoom before a virtual audience global leaders in venture capital, finance, tech, and sports, who care deeply about maximizing female access to capital and expertise. The conversations revealed stunning and original insights into overcoming and avoiding real-world obstacles by learning from each other.
  • Top 5 Women Entrepreneurs: Startup Stories - This video proudly presents the inspirational videos of the top female successful leaders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, Oprah Winfrey, Sara Blakely, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and more! In this best motivational video ever, watch how these women have conquered all challenges placed in their path to become some of the most powerful women in the world today!


  • Ready Set Raise - The Female Founders Alliance Ready Set Raise is a virtual, industry agnostic national startup accelerator, consciously created by and for women and non-binary founders.
  • Springboard Enterprises - Springboard was the first to identify the opportunity presented by high-potential women entrepreneurs, and they have been the best at producing results ever since.
  • WBENC Collegiate Accelerator - Premier startup program that fosters growth for the next generation of female founders and women-owned businesses.
  • Arlan's Academy - A curated list of pay-to-watch courses from Arlan Hamilton and her community of experts.
  • Ascent - A free learning platform for women entrepreneurs offered by the Small Business Administration. Ascent is divided into major topics called Journeys, developed by experts in women's entrepreneurship. Choose any journey to start, skip the ones you already know. Within each Journey, you'll find Excursions with the tools you need to master a topic. Each excursion includes a time estimate for completion. You're the boss of when and how to apply these tools to your business.
  • Ladies Get Paid - A curated list of pay-to-watch courses from qualified instructors to teach you how to grow your career and your bank account.
  • Sara Blakely MasterClass on Self-Made Entrepreneurship - With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.
  • The Bank of America Institute for Women's Entrepreneurship at Cornell - Earn a certificate in business from this Ivy League university through a free online program made possible by Bank of America, students will gain the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to build, manage and scale a successful business.
  • Maryland Women's Business Center (MWBC) works with entrepreneurs across Maryland’s capital region by way of three locations. Through our resources, we encourage women to start, sustain, and grow their businesses. Through workshops, individual counseling, facilitated peer group support, special resources, and access to capital, MWBC annually helps more than 1,500 women gain the skills, connections, and confidence necessary to navigate entrepreneurship.
    • Services - Workshops, Individual Counseling, Facilitated Peer Group Support, Special Resources, and Access to Capital.
  • ALL RAISE - A community, a movement, and a rallying cry centered on the belief that our personal ambitions can and will include the prosperity of all women.
  • Cartier Women's Initiative - An annual international entrepreneurship program that aims to drive change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs.
  • Female Founders Alliance - FFA’s curated, founders-only virtual network is a hyper-relevant community of peers who understand what you are going through. We share the startup journey together. And we share a mission to help each other succeed.
  • Global Invest Her - The Go-To Global Platform for Women Entrepreneurs who want to get funded faster.
  • Great Dames - A dynamic, diverse community of women who are connected, empowered and inspired to create the impact they desire. Since 2009, they have engaged more than 11,500 women and girls at salons, conversations, workshops and peer mentoring groups. Join a chapter near you.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) - NAWBO is the unified voice of over 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. Find the NAWBO chapter near you.
  • Ladies Get Paid - A global platform for professional women. By providing their members access to best-in-class education and a supportive community, they are a trusted source for anyone who wants to advance in her career, grow her wealth or start a business. The Ladies Get Paid network is made up of over 100,000 women worldwide who support each other through sharing advice, resources, and job opportunities.
  • Springboard Global Expert Network - Springboard has built a large national network of outstanding entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial organizations, academic institutions, lawyers, bankers, accountants, consultants and investors committed to the support of the Women Transforming Industries.
  • The Fourth Floor - This organization brings vetted female founders and professionals together so they can increase the number of women on boards, be more competitive fundraisers, and create wealth for female investors and entrepreneurs. 
  • Women Founders Network (WFN) - WFN exists to provide access to capital, visibility, and mentorship to female founders. They are a community of highly motivated women who come together to be inspired, celebrate, and to invest in the future.
  • Women Innovators & Leaders Network (WILD) - WILD is a social enterprise that supports global development leaders at all stages of their careers, and their employers, to become even stronger leaders and to foster cultures of inclusive leadership.
  • Women Moving Millions - A community of 340 individuals who each make a minimum $1M commitment to organizations and initiatives benefiting women and girls. Together, they represent a new era of resources by and for women, using the power of their voice and their influence to inspire others to invest with a gender lens. Guided by their mission and work to accelerate progress toward gender equality, they come together to think creatively and work collaboratively to sprout new solutions to propel everyone closer to a more equitable future.
  • The Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DC WBC) is a business development organization that serves women entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC Capitol Region. The DC WBC provides training and consultation to assist in the growth of women-owned businesses. We also provide technical assistance to women-owned businesses interested in federal and local government procurement opportunities. Schedule an appointment today! We look forward to helping you grow your business.
    • Services - Training and Events, Free 1-on-1 Counseling, Resources, Grant Opportunities, Microloans, and Crowdfunding.

Maryland Women's Business Center

Maryland Women's Business Center (MWBC) works with entrepreneurs across Maryland’s capital region by way of three locations.

Through their resources, they encourage women to start, sustain, and grow their businesses.

Through workshops, individual counseling, facilitated peer group support, special resources, and access to capital, MWBC annually helps more than 1,500 women gain the skills, connections, and confidence necessary to navigate entrepreneurship.

Mission: To empower small businesses and women entrepreneurs to launch and grow in Maryland's Capital Region.

Vision: That Maryland becomes a recognized leader for growing and launching successful and innovative women-owned enterprises.

Values: Collaboration, Empowerment, Expertise, Inclusivity, Innovation

MWBC Business Counselors are available to help you effectively assess where you are on your entrepreneurship journey. Whether you are just beginning or seeking to grow an established company, our highly experienced counselors stand ready to help you navigate through what can often be a challenging and confusing process. Let MWBC be your accountability partner as you navigate through the entrepreneurship journey.

Some of the services they provide–free of charge and confidential–include one-on-one counseling sessions and peer group discussion sessions where they guide you and other business owners through entrepreneurial challenges.

Get started today, and reach out to your nearest MWBC Business Counselor! They meet with more than 150 women each year and open the doors to other resources, including a network of expert professional volunteers–accountants, business coaches, lawyers, marketing experts, and others–who also provide their mentoring free of charge.

Si usted es propietario de un negocio Latino y necesita ayuda en su idioma para iniciar o hacer crecer su negocio, tenemos servicios de asesoramiento disponibles en español. Comuníquese con Martha Jimenez al 301-355-2206 o para comenzar.

MWBC – Montgomery County
Martha Jimenez – offers counseling in English & Spanish

MWBC – Prince George’s County
Angie Duncanson
301-383-1550, ext. 104

MWBC – Frederick County
Karen Kalantzis

  • Procurement Program - If your established business needs to replace revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, sign up for our FREE Procurement Series.
  • Childcare Business Development Program - MWBC’s Childcare Development Program provides tools, information, and training to family childcare providers, center directors, and owners.
  • WEgrow Maryland - WEgrow Maryland program helps review your business model through a blended learning approach.
  • Shop Local - Shop Local is an incubator of women entrepreneurs in Maryland. It is sponsored by the Maryland Women Business Center.

Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) Interactive Roadmap for Business Success helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners launch, nurture, and grow their businesses to achieve economic sustainability through every business phase. If you’re new to MWBC, they offer a comprehensive interactive roadmap to help guide your entrepreneurial journey. They’re here to support you every step of the way through planning, training, business advice, access to funding sources, and more!

  • Planning/Starting a Business - When starting a new business, it helps to follow some basic steps to ensure you have a sound plan and required documentation. They will connect you to the proper agencies and resources needed to get started.
  • Growing a Business - Access the resources needed to take your business to the next level. From funding options and certification criteria for woman-owned, minority, and disadvantaged businesses, to finding office space, developing HR policies and staffing, they provide information to help you grow and sustain your business.
  • Trainings, Workshops & Seminars - They offer a wide range of workshops and seminars to start and grow your business. Expert instructors lead workshops that are fast, convenient, and geared just for you.
  • Intensive Training Programs - Three intensive programs take a deep dive into specialized businesses—procurement, childcare, and retail—to develop skills that create success. They also offer an in-depth financial resilience program to help women business owners achieve economic stability and growth.
  • Networking - MWBC offers many options to connect with other entrepreneurs, business owners, community leaders, funding partners, and more. From informal coffee & connection events to their largest event of the year—their awards luncheon—they help businesses foster relationships with valuable partners that can help them thrive.
  • Advising - No matter what stage your business is in, their highly experienced counselors stand ready to personally help you navigate through the next steps for your business and develop an action plan.
  • Funding - Accessing capital is often difficult for women. They are skilled at removing barriers for women trying to launch, scale, and grow their businesses and boost the skills, connections, and confidence necessary to navigate entrepreneurship.
  • Montgomery County
    • 51 Monroe Street, PE-20, Rockville, MD 20850
    • (301) 315-8091
  • Prince George’s County
    • Bowie State University
    • 14000 Jericho Park Road, Suite 3212, Bowie, MD 20715
    • (301) 315-8091
  • Frederick County
    • Office Of Economic Development
    • 118 North Market Street, Third Floor Frederick, MD 21701
    • (301) 600-1058

Resources for Women of Color


  • IFundWomen of Color - The go-to funding resource for diverse, early-stage entrepreneurs. IFundWomen of Color was created with our founding partner Caress to help diverse entrepreneurs bring their dreams into reality through raising capital via crowdfunding and providing grants, coaching, and the connections needed to launch and grow successful businesses.

Investment Firms

  • Rock Creek Racial Equity Capital Fund - one of the largest diverse-owned global investment firms, has opened applications for the $36 million Exelon-funded Racial Equity Capital Fund to support minority-owned businesses in Exelon’s service areas in Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. The fund will help minority businesses obtain capital to fuel growth, create jobs, and strengthen communities that have historically been underserved, under-resourced, and overlooked by financial markets. The fund will provide loans and equity investments for numerous minority businesses throughout Exelon’s service areas over the next three years, with estimated loan amounts between $100,000 and $300,000, and equity investments of nearly $1 million.

Venture Capital

  • Backstage Capital - They invest in companies led by underestimated founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders. We’ve invested in 150+ companies so far, and our support goes beyond investment.
  • Black Girl Ventures - This organization's mission is to provide Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building in order to meet business milestones that lead to economic advancement through entrepreneurship. Apply to join the Change Agent Fellowship.
  • Black Women Talk Tech - A collective of passionate Black women tech founders. They have a unique understanding of the challenges Black women founders face and the advantages they bring in the industry. They are here to identify, support and encourage Black women to build the next billion dollar business.
  • digitalundivided - Serves as a catalyst for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs, leading the development of programming that takes you from START to success. Whether you just have an idea or you’re ready to make the commitment to start your company, they have a program for you.
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) - Minority-owned firms seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and growing in size and scale, can access business experts at a MBDA Business Center. Find the nearest MBDA Business Center.
  • Mogulette - This organization helps cities, organizations, and anchor institutions address inclusion disparities within innovation ecosystems.
  • Mom Your Business - Helps Black/Brown female entrepreneurs achieve exponential business growth through mentoring, coaching, and advocacy. Mom Your Business provides support and resources so that they no longer have to choose between family, business, or occupation: they can have it all!
  • Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneur Excellence (OIBWE2) program - This is a 10-month, cohort-based program focused on bringing clarity around how entrepreneurs can collectively eliminate the barriers and challenges faced by those from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially Black women entrepreneurs. Each cohort focuses on Black women and encourages open participation to enhance awareness, productive discussions, and focused action to move the entire entrepreneurial community forward.
  • TEDCO Women Entrepreneur Leadership Programs - TEDCO along with Maryland’s four HBCUs are creating a community of entrepreneurs to support each other and to provide a best-in-class entrepreneur leadership development program focused on building critical skills that foster resilience. TEDCO brings together 25 entrepreneurial leaders in a cohort to develop a network of peer advisors and a community that seeks collaboration. TEDCO’s strategic partners at the Maryland HBCUs determine these entrepreneurs' needs at the intersection of research, tech transfer, and education. 
  • The Women Entrepreneur Leadership Lab (The WELL) - The WELL is a network of Black-women entrepreneurs and leaders who are building a community where we support and learn from one another, grow businesses that create wealth, and push the boundaries on our dreams.


  • Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition - Each year Women Founders Network creates a unique opportunity for Female Founders. The program includes individualized attention allowing the top women entrepreneurs to become pitch-ready in a way that sharpens their plans to scale their companies and makes their business more appealing to Angel and VC investors.
  • Amber Grant for Women - WomensNet founded the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998. The Foundation was set up with one goal in mind: to honor the memory of a very special young woman, Amber Wigdahl, who died at just 19 years old — before realizing her business dreams. WomensNet gives away at least $10,000 every month in Amber Grant money. We've also expanded our grant-giving to include other grants such as our Annual $25,000 Amber Grant. View a list of all available grants.
  • Grants for Women - The Online Guide To Women Grants, Funding, Scholarships, and More!

  • IFundWomen - This organization is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with access to capital, coaching, and connections. The organization offers immediate access to capital through a premium online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from corporate partners, expert business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge and ignites action.
  • Angel Academe invests in female-founded tech startups. They introduce more women to angel investing.

  • Belle Capital USA is an early stage fund that invests in high growth companies in underserved capital markets across the USA.

  • Citrine Angels is a membership group providing early-stage investment opportunities and education to female investors in the Washington DC Metro area.

  • Golden Seeds Angel Network is one of the largest and most active of all of these groups – both in terms of our geographic reach, our large number of members and our investments each year. The membership consists of women and men dedicated to evaluating, funding and helping companies with at least one woman in a management role. The members work together to identify investment opportunities, conduct due diligence, monitor the companies’ progress and provide support in many other ways. With nearly 300 members and eight chapters – Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, New Jersey, New York, and Silicon Valley – plus members in many other locations throughout the country.

  • Pipeline Angels is changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for trans women, cis women, nonbinary, two-spirit, agender, and gender-nonconforming founders.

  • BBG Ventures - An early-stage fund that backs big ideas. They focus on female founders who intuitively understand the dominant consumer, enabling them to address the collective or individual lived experience of the 99%. Female founders are poised to do giant things.

  • Female Founders Fund - In 2014, Female Founders Fund was created with one simple belief: women will build the companies of tomorrow. Since then, they’ve become the leading source of institutional capital for female founders raising seed capital with over $3B in enterprise value.

  • Golden Seeds Venture Fund (GSVF) has a unique and symbiotic relationship with the Golden Seeds Angel Network. This relationship allows the independently managed Venture Fund to access the entrepreneur funding applications that come to Golden Seeds. In addition, GSVF leverages the Managing Partners’ professional networks, including referrals from other entrepreneurs, portfolio companies, and syndicate partners.

  • Halogen Ventures - An early stage venture capital fund investing in consumer technology companies led by women.

  • How Women Invest is a venture capital firm that leverages its professional network of 14,000 women to identify high-potential female founders and provide the starter-fuel and mentorship to propel these fearless founders to victory.

  • The Jump Fund - Invests in women-led companies headquartered in the Southeast U.S., specifically in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia.

  • The Vinetta Project - Is a capital platform designed to unleash female drive for Seed and Series A Founders.. Sourcing and elevating high potential female founders is what they do. They are here to help you access all the capital, vetted networks and resources you need for growth

UMD Alumnae and Resources


Artists & Creatives



  • Bootstrapped Episodes - The Dingman Center regularly features female founders, investors, and ecosystem builders on our podcast, Bootstrapped.
  • Maryland Smith Women Inspire - Women Inspire showcases Maryland Smith’s fearless alumnae leaders excelling in business. The annual event celebrates female empowerment that inspires attendees and challenges them to realize and reach their full potential.
  • Office of Diversity & Inclusion - ODI serves UMD by providing leadership and expertise that enriches the experiences of individuals and builds stronger communities.
  • TENx UMD EnTERPreneur Stories - A new video series from the University of Maryland Alumni Association, celebrating the entrepreneurial journeys of alumni founders!