Application Deadline: Sunday August 15, 2021 11:30PM PST!

Community Health Councils, in partnership with Cal State LA, the LA SBDC Network and with a generous grant from Wells Fargo, are please to announce the Learning for Equity in Entrepreneurship Accelerator and Fellowship (LEEAF)

Are you a woman of color who is also a business owner? We are looking for BIPOC women-owned businesses of all sizes to participate in the program- from the side hustle to established businesses.

The blog post below describes the program and provides links for the business to sign up. Please read, share the links with other BIPOC women entrepreneurs, and apply today!

Veronica Flores - Coalition on Economic Resiliency Forum

Veronica Flores

We are excited to launch our inaugural Leading for Equity in Entrepreneurship Accelerator & Fellowship (LEEAF) cohorts and look forward to continuing to work with you as We Lead for Equity in Entrepreneurship through our collective programs and organizations across Los Angeles.

LEEAF supports communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic, specifically in East and South LA, empowering Cal State LA students to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable economic landscape for Southern California. This new and innovative program is a dynamic accelerator that pairs sixty Black and Brown, woman-led small businesses with business experts and LEEAF Fellows for a year-long cohort of mentorship, technical assistance, and advisory. Each founder/entrepreneur will be paired with a LEEAF Fellow who will provide mentorship, one-on-one training, personalized programming specific to their business goals, and much more.

CHC is a non-profit, community-based research, policy, and capacity-building organization. After years of work and research, we know that our communities in South LA continue to get behind–particularly those communities that need the greatest support such as youth, parents and women of color. Women and entrepreneurship are oftentimes those areas that get the least amount of funding and with this in mind, Community Health Councils (CHC) has partnered with Cal State LA, the LA SBDC Network to create the LEEAF program.

LEEAF is a first-of-its-kind accelerator and fellowship for BIPOC women entrepreneurs with two components. The first component is a student fellowship program training more than 60 CSU-LA students in the principles of entrepreneurship so they can support women, BIPOC organizational leaders and prepare them for future employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. With this fellowship program, students can develop essential professional skills like critical thinking, leadership, and equity-mindedness that they can use beyond the program. The second component is an accelerator program to support BIPOC women leaders of for-profit, social impact, and other organizations with technical assistance and student fellow interns. Students may also have opportunities to attend technical assistance sessions with accelerator members
in order to enhance their training.

The roll out of this program will seek to pair BIPOC entrepreneurs with business experts and LEEAF Fellows where entrepreneurs will work to build capacity & revenue, gain access to capital and investors to sustain growth, and emerge as leaders for local economic revitalization. Fellows and business leaders will work together to pivot to business models that are disaster-resilient; they will be able to recover from economic downturns such as COVID-19 or wildfires and be prepared to navigate similar conditions in the future. With LEEAF, fellows and business leaders will also launch digital marketing campaigns, develop new customer pipelines, and refine products and services to efficiently address the rapidly evolving needs of the communities they serve. Beyond LEEAF, once founders exit the program, they continue to have access to one-on-one advising sessions as well as a network of over 100 industry experts and exclusive partnerships.

Space for this amazing opportunity is limited to 60 entrepreneurs and applications are due by August 15th at 11:30 PM PST. After the application is submitted online, applicants who qualify for the accelerator program will be invited to a 30-minute interview with the LEEAF Team, the last step before final selection. Applicants should be a BIPOC woman who is the owner, operational leader, or meaningfully involved in the decision-making of the business or organization. Please visit our website here for additional information and to access the application!

Also, here are 3 easy ways you can help us identify a few more candidates:

  1. Head over to LEEAF’s Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and @TAG 2 BIPOC Women Owned Businesses or Entrepreneurs that you think would be a good fit for our program!
  2. Like and share ANY of our social media posts! Or
  3. Copy and paste any of the language in our Partner Toolkit and share it with your audience via newsletter or social media!  Along with their efforts with LEEAF, CHC is continuously working to strengthen community participation and inform state and local policies that improve community health and wellbeing. Our work is proceeding with a focus on health systems, healthcare equity and efficiency, vaccine distribution, guaranteed basic income, food equity, community organizing, and other policy and systems change work. We invite you to continue to visit our website and social media platforms and see how you can become directly involved in community and social change!

For more questions about LEEAF, please contact Tomas Duran at tduran@chc-inc.org, and Remember our applications close Sunday August 15, 2021 11:30PM PST!