The Sister Accord Foundation launches The Sister Accord Accelerator to support female entrepreneurs
The Sister Accord Foundation, the organization that is changing the way girls and women treat, support, and interact with each other, announced today the launch of The Sister Accord Accelerator, a new program that will help female entrepreneurs rapidly grow and scale their businesses through a combination of grants, education, and mentorship. This program will begin in April and is made possible with the support of Jean Freeman and her firm, Zambezi, which has given $50,000 to fund the initial group of participants.
The Sister Accord Accelerator is designed to fuel the growth of existing female-owned businesses by providing monetary support, business education, and mentorship – the tangible tools needed to scale a business. As part of the program, five female entrepreneurs will be given a $10,000 grant, ongoing mentorship from Sonia Jackson Myles, Founder of The Sister Accord Foundation, and Jean Freeman, CEO and Principal, Zambezi, as well as additional guidance from a number of noted business leaders. Over the course of four months, Accelerator participants will have ongoing mentorship meetings and will also attend a number of educational sessions focused on sales, marketing, operations, and growth. Applications are now being accepted. The application period will end at 11:59 PM ET on March 11th. Applicants can apply here.
The partnership of Myles and Freeman brings together two powerhouse women with a deep breadth of experience and knowledge. Before founding The Accord Group LLC, Myles spent her 20+ year career in corporate America, managing over $20 billion for global companies Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, and The Gillette Company.
In addition to her work with her foundation, she serves as an advisor and executive coach to numerous Fortune 500 companies and startups with a focus on leadership development; growth strategies to diversity, particularly in the areas of MBE development, unconscious bias training, and women's initiatives; change management; employee engagement; and creating a culture where employees can thrive. Her Dreamwalking Executive Coaching & Leadership Development Program has hundreds of "Dreamwalkers" (mentees) Walking in Purpose and Designing Their Destinies. A frequent media personality, Myles has earned numerous accolades, including being named one of Essence Magazine's "Women of Power," Bloomberg Report's "History Makers," and Black Enterprise Magazine's Top Executives in Marketing & Advertising. She was inducted into her alma mater, FAMU's School of Business and Industry's Hall of Fame, was honored with The Gillette Legacy Award, and was named BCWN's Woman of the Year. Myles is also the recipient of The Legacy Award from The National Association for Female Executives for her long-standing successful career of making advancing women a priority.
Freeman heads up the largest, female-owned advertising agency in the country, with a focus on creating tailored solutions that propel brands forward. Zambezi has been recognized as one of the "Largest Women-Owned Businesses" and "100 Fast Growing Companies in LA" by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Freeman has been included in Adweek's "Disruptor List," Campaign US's 40 over 40 honors, and named one of the 4A's "100 People Who Make Advertising Great," as well as a "Working Mother of the Year" by She Runs It. A champion of women and minority business leaders, she serves on the advisory boards for MAKERS, The 3% Movement, ThinkLA, and The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Freeman is also active in 50/50 Women on Boards, which aims to raise the percentage of women serving on corporate boards in the United States. In addition to her work with Zambezi, Freeman plays a central role in leading her family's privately held personal planner business, Blue Sky.
"There has never been a more challenging time to be a business owner, or a more exciting one. The Pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in female entrepreneurs, specifically Black female entrepreneurs launching new businesses. Often times, I see women business owners who turn their passions into a business but get stuck not knowing how to actually scale their business. This program will help ensure that they have the necessary tools, knowledge, and a financial grant to help get them to where they want to be," said Myles. "I am honored that Jean has not only seen the potential in this program, and agreed to partner with me on creating the curriculum and helping lead the program, but, also with the support of her firm, Zambezi, has given this generous grant that will make this first class possible."
"As a long-time advocate for working women, I understand that one of the trickiest parts for many entrepreneurs is how to grow and scale a business after establishing one. I am dedicated to helping female owners and their businesses reach their full potential by understanding the intricacies of today's marketplace and how to carve out a place within it," said Freeman. "The work that Sonia does with The Sister Accord is incredible, and I am truly excited to partner with her on such an important initiative."
The Sister Accord Accelerator is the latest initiative from the Sister Accord Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering girls and women, with the mission of teaching one billion girls and women how to love themselves and each other. Through a variety of programs, grants, scholarships, and pandemic-related financial aid, the Sister Accord's work always ladders back to its three pillars: to – through self-awareness and leadership development – educate girls and women, enlighten them of the power of sisterhood, and eradicate the bullying and violence they face. Now in its eighth year, The Sister Accord has never been stronger or its work more necessary. Since late 2019, between The Sister Accord Foundation & The Sister Accord, LLC, over $120,000 in grants, scholarships, and financial support has been given to individuals to pay rent, mortgage, and other bills. The Sister Accord Foundation also celebrated its move to become an official global organization with the launch of a Sister Accord chapter in Harare, Zimbabwe.