Sage, The BOSS Network and Swoop unveil new mentorship program
ATLANTA, Jan. 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sage, the leader in accounting, financial, HR, and payroll technology for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), in collaboration with The BOSS Network and Swoop, unveil a new training and mentorship program, Pathways to Success, designed to support Black women entrepreneurs in Atlanta.
The Pathways to Success training and mentor program, developed and delivered through Sage Foundation, will equip 150 Atlanta-based Black women entrepreneurs with a structured series of training and roundtables, providing tactical advice to address and overcome financial and capital-raising challenges. The program was developed as a direct result of Sage, The BOSS Network and Swoop’s report titled “Voices of Strength: Pathways to Success for Black Women Founders” launched in September 2023. The report identified the most prominent challenges Black women founders in Atlanta face, including a lack of access to funding through grants and government resources, mentorship, and the ability to digitally scale their businesses for growth.
Participants will receive one year of training access and a three-year membership to The BOSS Network. In tandem with the Pathways to Success program, applications for The BOSS Network and Sage’s Invest in Progress 2024 grant open January 22, launching the third year of the program. Twenty-five grants will be provided to Black women founders across the US, with seven going directly to Atlanta-based business owners, all aiming to take their business to the next level. The program offers $10,000 USD business grants and alongside training, networking and mentor opportunities with The BOSS Network.
Aziz Benmalek, President of North America at Sage explains, “Atlanta is uniquely positioned with the highest concentration of Black entrepreneurs in the US. When we uncovered the challenges Black women founders were having in our research, we decided it was vital to move forward with a meaningful program to address the issues around funding capital and access to coaching and network connections. Being a large tech company in Atlanta and an authentic ally to Black women founders, it is our duty to uplift more opportunities for funding resources and offer forums for connection and educational resources. Investing in women is imperative to building a prosperous and inclusive society.”
Dr. Cameka Smith, founder of The BOSS Network adds, “For the past fifteen years, The BOSS Network has been committed to investing in and equipping Black women entrepreneurs to achieve success in business. From our vast network of over two hundred thousand, to launching our first BOSS Impact Fund three years ago and investing in sixty-five Black women founders, The BOSS Network is well aware of the challenges and needs of this audience, and continues to seek new ways to support them. With Atlanta at the epicenter for Black business, The BOSS Network is excited to partner with Sage and Swoop on this program to not only provide resources, but to also empower them as they go to the next level in their business endeavors.”
Andrea Reynolds, CEO and Founder of Swoop, says: “BOSS, Sage and Swoop align in our goal to make every business achieve its potential. Swoop’s contribution will be to empower these brilliant entrepreneurs with education and insights to make the right financial decisions to start and grow their businesses. Some business owners have been historically under-represented, but that means there is potential for huge, positive change. With Sage and BOSS, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
To apply, visit the Pathways to Success program website (applications close on February 5, 2024). To apply for the Invest in Progress grant program visit (applications close on February 23, 2024).
Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of small- and mid-sized businesses served by us, our partners, and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR, and payroll software to help business flow. By digitizing business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology, and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality, and the climate crisis. Learn more at Sage.com.
About The BOSS Network
Founded by Dr. Cameka Smith, BOSS™ is an acronym for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters,” and the network’s mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. The BOSS Network is an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online, and event-based networking. To find out more about The BOSS Network, please visit www.TheBOSSNetwork.org. The BOSS Network was named as a Forbes Top 10 Career and Entrepreneurial website for Women. More than 200,000 active women members throughout the United States are engaged through our social and digital programming. The BOSS Network’s latest initiative is the BOSS Impact Fund, with a focus on grant funding for 500+ Black women entrepreneurs, over the next three years. In addition, each grant recipient will have a 1-year scholarship to our BOSS Business University, a digital mentorship program that will provide a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum, to assist in long-term business growth.
Swoop is a global fintech company specializing in funding solutions for businesses. Swoop’s platform connects businesses and advisors with the right funding options, streamlining the application process and saving them time and money. Swoop is committed to helping businesses thrive by making funding accessible and hassle-free.