Almost one year ago, John Burns the CIO at Breakaway, a Boston-based brand capital firm, approached Professor Candida Brush and Susan Duffy, the Executive Director at Babson College’s Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) in response to Professor Brush’s most recent Diana Project report, Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital.
The report revealed that while women entrepreneurs are majority owners of nearly 36 percent of all U.S. businesses, they receive only 2.7 percent of venture capital funding. The Babson Breakaway Challenge was created in direct response to the report’s troubling statistics.
The Challenge is a one-of-a-kind business competition and mentoring program that promotes gender parity in the venture capital industry, by supporting both women-led businesses and fostering aspiring women venture capitalists.
The winning entrepreneur team will receive $250,000 for their business—the largest amount of funding awarded in a business competition for women—as well as marketing services, including the creation of a customized brand identity platform.
The Babson Breakaway Challenge is open to consumer-facing businesses where at least 50 percent of the founding team are women active in the company, have less than $500,000 in revenue, cannot have raised more than $250,000 in outside funding by March, 2016 and have the ability to participate in the Challenge’s programming that takes place in the Boston area.
All women entrepreneurs and aspiring venture capitalists are encouraged to apply!