Project Entrepreneur, a program by UBS focused on increasing the success of female founders, in partnership with Hello Alice, a multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow, recently announced a program designed to help level the playing field for female founders of color and close the gap in obtaining equal access to capital. The program is titled “Democratizing the Friends & Family Round,”. It will award $25,000 grants to 30 participants and reinforce UBS’s commitment to addressing wealth inequality.

EQUALIZING the playing field

Black and Latinx female founders receive less than 1 percent of venture capital. The funding gap that entrepreneurs of color experience happens well before they prepare to raise their first venture round. Nearly 40 percent of early-stage entrepreneurs raise initial funding through friends and family rather than through credited investors. Most entrepreneurs of color do not have access to a network that can provide them with the necessary funding. This is because of the racial wealth gap, which is the disparity in median wealth between people of different races. This gap prevents them from testing their innovations, hiring key talent and having the runway to grow and raise future investment.

“Funding disparities that founders of color experience represent a failure of the system, not of the founders,” said Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, Americas at UBS. “Our mission at Project Entrepreneur, is to support and help level the playing field for female founders with the tools, resources and supportive ecosystem they need to succeed. This program plays an important role in closing the equity gap for female founders of color and accelerating the growth of their companies.”

“As a Latina-owned company, we know firsthand how difficult it can be to raise venture funds,” said Elizabeth Gore, Co-Founder and President of Hello Alice. “We started Hello Alice to provide access to capital for New Majority owners, and we are excited to work with UBS on this grant program to help female founders of color get a head start with their businesses.”

How Hello Alice and UBS will empower founders

Each founder will receive $25,000 in grant funding. They will also have access to virtual coaching and other skill-building opportunities with UBS and Hello Alice. All applicants, regardless of whether they’re shortlisted to the final 30, will receive free access to thousands of curated resources. They will also have access to a community of 450,000+ business owners through Hello Alice.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be leading a high-growth company registered in the U.S. The company must have at least one founder who identifies as a woman of color. The deadline to apply is November 10, 2021 and winners will be announced in late January 2022. Full application details can be found at: Small Business Funding Center

About Project Entrepreneur

Project Entrepreneur is a flagship program by UBS. Above all, the program is on a mission to change the status quo female founders by increasing their investment readiness, connecting them to the networks and resources they need to grow and scale their companies and expand the ecosystem of support that advance women entrepreneurs. Since 2015, Project Entrepreneur has trained and supported more than 1,800 female founders. Alumni have gone on to raise more than $60M in capital.


In partnership with Hello Alice, Women in Cloud is rolling out a fun giveaway to get all of you involved to support their audacious goal of reaching 1M small business owners through their new Small Business Funding Center. To get Involved here are three steps to win $50 Starbucks Gift Cards:

  1. Visit Hello Alice Small Business Funding Center
  2. Register for Hello Alice Account
  3. Apply For $25,000 Grant if you qualify
  4. Share with your favorite entrepreneurs to increase the chance to win the Starbucks card

About UBS

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS is the largest truly global wealth manager. It is a leading personal and corporate bank in Switzerland. It has a large-scale and diversified global asset manager and a focused investment bank. The bank focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 regions and locations, with about 30 percent of its employees working in the Americas, 30 percent in Switzerland, 19 percent in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 21 percent in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs more than 72,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

About Hello Alice

Hello Alice is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. Hello Alice has a community of nearly 500,000 business owners in all 50 states and across the globe. It is building the largest network of owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for entrepreneurs. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. Hello Alice is a Latina owned company founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore. Above all, we believe in business for all by providing access to all owners including women, people of color, veterans and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

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Fewer than half (41%) of college students feel well-prepared for their future careers, according to a recent McGraw-Hill survey. When asked what would have made them feel more prepared, the largest percentage of students (51%) responded with “more internships and professional experiences.”

In collaboration with Creative Children for Charity , Women In Cloud is proud to announce the kickoff for the #3CMicro Internship Project for Youth In The Cloud Industry!

#3CMicro Internship Project for Youth aims to help by jump start their careers in the cloud technology sector, foster self-confidence, and connect to professional mentors to increase their network value. The Internship usually consists of 40-60 hours of high quality work, and can occur any time of year. They are highly-specific, project-based positions, often in arenas like events, research, or technology solutions.

Please join us in congratulating the 6 amazing youth for being accepted into this program!

Sloane Nordé was born and raised in Haiti and in school she participated in outreach and was heavily involved in church. She was in pathfinders, led out in youth ministries, and volunteered with a humanitarian organization called NAPS. She has also pursued other Passions she has such as writing and drawing by teaching herself. She is a born leader, and wants to continue to grow, so she can make the biggest impact possible in this World, which she most certainly will! She will be leading youth entrepreneurship stories via digital campaign.

Asmita Malakar is a rising junior at Green Hope High School in North Carolina and is passionate about promoting equity in the STEM field. She also is  an active volunteer in her community, and in her spare time, she likes to watch Netflix, play tennis, and sketch cartoons. She will be leading #AIEthics Research Project For Youth and understanding impacts of how AI solutions are developed for younger generations.

Cassidy Puccio is a rising high school leader. She is passionate about history, fashion and writing. She finds history very exciting because she can learn about different cultures and learn about the past and the present. She also like writing because she like the art of persuasive writing. When she was younger, she was bullied, made fun of, teased for not answering questions immediately and struggled with friends. When she started attending a school with kids with learning differences and was taught to advocate for myself and others. She is leading Anti-Bully project.

Nikhita Penugonda, a rising Sophomore at Interlake High School. She is friendly, enthusiastic, dedicated, and a hardworking student. She enjoy learning and trying new things at every opportunity, especially topics related to math, science, and space. She is passionate about the cosmos from a very young age and have recently gained interest in global warming and ways to stop it. Outside of school, she participates in Toastmasters Gavel Club, Destination Imagination and have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She volunteers at Higher Orbits and am a mentor at Girls Rock at Science Seminars. During my free time, she enjoys singing, reading, camping, and rowing, both as a sport and for fun. She is leading Climate Action App Project.

Hitesh Mantha is a high schooler, self-taught developer with interests in software, digital fabrication, design, and cybersecurity. He is leading Youth mentor matching AI app with Srikar Chava.

Srikar Chava is rising high school leader. He love working with entrepreneurial projects that deal with societal issues in order to help others. He also love intertwining coding with these projects to construct the best product to deal with problems. He play football and cricket. He also really love meeting new people and building valuable connections. He am really excited to be working with the 3C program and using my skills to directly combat societal problems! He is leading Youth mentor matching AI app with Hemanth Manta.

This project is led and managed by Neal Vedullapalli, who is a high schooler and T-Mobile Ashoka Youth Change Maker.

Learn more:

Applications will open in March2022. Stay Tuned.

Revolutions cannot thrive without our industry being reshaped by those that are at the core of its future. At Women in Cloud, we have learned the power of collective access and action to ignite stronger leadership and economic opportunities for women in technology, through the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Welcome to #WICxUNGA 2021, where like-minded industry leaders, executives, investors, entrepreneurs and community members come together to share the new narrative that is accelerating digital transformation, economic opportunity, global inclusivity and proven leadership development for our community and beyond.
The #WICxUNGA event will capture powerful dialogue through unique activations focused on UN SD goals, including gender equality, sustainability, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and strategic partnerships to achieve our collective mission and vision. We’ll cover social responsibility and collaboration to eliminate inequalities and injustices, including TED-like workshops, plenary sessions, roundtable discussions and a pitch challenge. 

Experience a community event unlike any other that dives deep into addressing the challenges we face today with next generation solutions harnessing AI for good, sustainability, building trusted partnerships and networks, becoming effective strategic advisors and developing career growth opportunities focused on leadership acceleration.

How are thought leaders today changing the narratives for tomorrow? This is #WICxUNGA 2021.

We are so delighted to bring you three unique and creative experiences by our partners.

Presented by IBM : AI Innovation and Ethics Track

Thought Leadership Session: Using AI Innovation To Achieve The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

AI and climate change has been an area that has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years.Today’s cloud age of digital technology drives remarkable advancements at phenomenal speed. This plenary session will examine how AI Innovations can help us achieve the UN 2030 SDG’s and their potential ethical issues that are likely to bring forward, their impacts on economic equity and access for women.

AI Innovation & Ethics Unplugged Roundtables

If AI is our future, what is it really telling us? This is a session hosted by experienced leaders utilizing a group discussion format to allow attendees to share their own valuable inputs on specific AI-related topics and their potential ethical issues that is likely to bring forward their impacts on economic equity and access for women to design the strategies for Women In Cloud – AI Ethics Coalition 2022 charter. Your input, your voice and your ideas will help us shape the future of the AI Ethics Coalition. Get engaged, connect with other thought leaders and join our collective action.

Presented by Microsoft: Cloud Hands On Lab & #Buildfor2030 Hackathon

Hands on Cloud Day: Provide attendees with access to a free Hands-On Lab experience to get their hands “Cloudy” and deepen their Azure foundational knowledge.

#Buildfor2030 Hackathon and Ask Me Anything Session: An innovative hackathon that seeks to drive transformative solutions and services into development to further the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Through this learning and community-building journey, together we are accelerating innovation to power a more inclusive economy.

#CloudJobs Diverse Recruiting: A digital job fair offering a meet and greet experience with hiring managers and recruiters, where women can meet with companies actively seeking and recruiting talent, benefitting both the company and the job seeker by aligning talent with employment opportunities.

Power Talk: What’s Next After Cloud Certification? How to Pursue Your Dream Job: Sometimes when we reach one destination it’s actually just the beginning of a new journey.  Cloud Certification is just the first step of many in your new career path.  Learn how to develop the right strategy, skill sets and approaches to landing that dream job you have been searching for.  Discover the best practices of how to market yourself in a highly competitive marketplace and understand what companies are looking for in today’s ideal candidate.

Power Talk: How to Secure a Job in the Trillion Dollar Cloud Industry : The Cloud Technology industry continues to grow at incredible rates, and so do the opportunities to become part of this trillion dollar marketplace.  But where do you begin?  Learn how to search, apply and prepare for securing a cloud technology job today that matches your skill sets and vision for success, even when there is a growing number of talented candidates out there.  Here’s your chance to find that competitive advantage you’ve been hoping for.

Presented by JP Morgan Chase : Leadership Acceleration Track

Workshop: How to Become a Strategic & Effective Advisor (Panel & Demos): What if we all tapped into the natural born leaders that we already are? Strategic and effective advisors are not taught, rather learned from experience.  Learn how to tap into the innate personal power and leadership skills you possess to become advisors to others, enabling you to grow in your career, support others in their own growth and have access to achieve more advancement opportunities in the future. This is the power of purpose-driven leadership in action.

How to Build a High Trusted Relationship (Workshop): What if our greatest relationships start with one powerful story? Often we find ourselves in a position where we have to prove and demonstrate our knowledge to others in order to get noticed or validated. Learn techniques on how to create a strategic business narrative that is built on trust, authenticity and human connection so you can develop the strongest personal and professional relationships possible. This is where your voice cultivates real business growth.

Get access to all this and more at the 2-Day Signature Event. 

Visit for full event details.

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