Introducing Sacramento's first women's business accelerator! MAKEHERS is a 60-day program for current or aspiring women business owners.

With millions of women leaving the workforce, experiencing business closures, and facing significant challenges to post-COVID economic recovery, Hacker Lab is launching MAKEHERS to provide targeted reinforcement and seed investment for Sacramento-region women business owners—especially low income and BIPOC communities.

Interested or know someone who might be? Apply by March 31st! 👉

"If you're a woman in business, we have a lot of hats to wear," said Safiya Neal, a local entrepreneur and maker of bath bombs (follow her on Instagram @SafiyaNeal) "The biggest challenge is learning how to ask for help."

"The MAKEHERS project is really about women empowering other women. It is a small business accelerator program helping women grow in their business and create a sense of community and support while they're pursuing they're endeavors," said Hacker Lab CEO Gina Lujan (pictured, right).

Everyone deserves the opportunity to survive and grow, regardless of COVID-19 or inequitable access to resources. MAKEHERS is a program empowering women in small business disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Sacramento through direct investment and advancing their entrepreneurial skills.
"Women have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic," said program manager Lujan. "There has been so much focus on high-growth startups that we have lost sight of the micro-businesses in our region."

Nationally, 30% of women-owned businesses closed during the pandemic as compared with 17% of men owned businesses. MAKEHERS will empower, guide, and mentor underserved women entrepreneurs with holistic support through the ideation and seed stages of their endeavors.

Lujan was inspired to start the program after starting her own business at age 21 out of necessity.

"I was a young mom, Latina and had to hustle. I know the struggle facing women-owned business owners because I am one. So when the pandemic hit, my heart went to the mothers (and women) called home from the workplace who wanted to start or had to close their own business but were hampered by the global pandemic facing all of us," Lujan said.

As part of the program, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops in entrepreneurship and tech, as well as holistic healing circles, as well as access to emergency funds and direct support that help women overcome the obstacles they are facing.

Thank you to our seed sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, for helping us deliver support to women business owners and entrepreneurs!

Interested or know someone who might be? Apply by March 31st! 👉

We've also launched a crowdfund to support the 15 entrepreneurs with needs-based incidentals (from bus passes to laptops). Individuals also lost their pre-pandemic jobs and micro-businesses can be less stable than traditional 9-5s, with many earning a living making at home or reselling on Etsy and Facebook Marketplace.

"It was an answer and a solution to find a side-hustle. Now we need to help those intrepid entrepreneurs flourish and survive through this crisis," Lujan said.

Can you help support our campaign? Help women entrepreneurs and get swag! 👉 MAKEHERS: Post-COVID Women Entrepreneur Relief Fund

Or interested in joining? Learn more at APPLICATIONS ARE LIVE! Please share our page or click on the image to get started. #WEAREMAKEHERS 👇🚀📈

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