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Maryland Incubator Empowering Black Women’s Careers

In a significant move to support Black women founders in Maryland, TEDCO, an economic catalyst for technology companies, has unveiled the Institute for Women Entrepreneur Excellence, Inc. (“Institute”). This initiative builds upon the success of two previous pilot programs—the Leading Women’s Program and the Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneur Excellence. The Institute aims to dismantle barriers hindering the success of minority business owners.

Linda Singh, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Women Entrepreneur Excellence, highlighted the persistent challenges faced by women navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. Citing recent data showing a decrease in venture funding for women-led businesses—from 2.8% in 2019 to 2.3% in 2020—Singh emphasized the need to address this decline. The redesigned program seeks to confront the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, fostering a supportive community and providing essential resources.

The Institute is an evolution of the pilot programs, which collaborated with Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities to create substantive resources for underrepresented groups. The new initiative strives to create an inclusive community for women entrepreneurs, offering a wide array of resources to enhance their success.

Tammi Thomas, Chief Development and Marketing Officer at TEDCO expressed enthusiasm for the ongoing development of an inclusive community. She emphasized that the Institute expands on the work initiated by the two pilot programs, establishing a more inclusive and supportive community for entrepreneurs across Maryland. Thomas noted that Maryland has the highest rate per capita of women business owners in the U.S., and through this community, they aim to build on this statistic.

The Institute for Women Entrepreneur Excellence is poised to make a substantial impact by providing tailored support, resources, and a collaborative environment for Black women founders, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of underrepresented entrepreneurs in Maryland.

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