Adidas Supports Women's Sport Entrepreneurs Via iFundWomen Partnership

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As women face barriers in the sporting world, Adidas has partnered with the iFundWomen startup to back women entpreneurs looking to accelerate their businesses in a male-dominated market arena.  The running shoe maker is following up financial support and business guidance for an initial nine women-led businesses with the launch of an open call for more women to submit applications.

“Since day one, iFundWomen’s mission has been to empower women to realize their visions through capital, coaching, and connections. adidas is all about removing barriers to women and girls in sport by providing support and visibility. We are totally mission aligned," Karen Cahn, founder and CEO of iFundWomen, said in a statement.

"It was only a matter of time before we joined forces to supercharge our respective missions. This partnership is a one plus one equals three scenario, and we cannot wait to see the massive impact it has on women and girls’ lives," she added.

On its website, iFundWomen describes the startup funding platform as offering access to capital through crowdfunding and grants and expert guidance for women business owners.

"The reason why IFundWomen is fundamentally different than anything on the market today is because of our proprietary coaching program, The IFundwomen Method, which brings three core principles together: Capital, Coaching, and Connections," the startup said of efforts to help women launch and grow sporting businesses. -ups in the health and science, media, arts and music, tech and social good sectors.

The first women and their businesses supported by the Adidas/iFundWomen partnership were:

  • Francesca Brown, Goals4Girls (London) -- a program that combines football and education to support young women and girls in sport. ​
  • Marisa Hamamoto, Infinite Flow - An Inclusive Dance Company (Los Angeles) - a professional dance company comprising dancers with and without disabilities and inspiring inclusion and innovation.
  • Hélène Guillaume, WILD.AI (San Francisco) - a non-profit that developed a fitness app for women.
  • Brittany Edwards and Khiana Lowe, Incorp[HER]ated (New York City) -- a non-profit creating inclusive spaces in creative industries for diverse voices. 
  • Alex Taylor, Hoop York City (New York City) -- a venture that offers women with safe spaces to play and experience basketball.
  • Susan Sullivan, the Women Sports Film Festival (San Francisco) -- a film festival celebrating women athletes via documentaries.
  • Jasmina Srna, Safe-Hub (Berlin) -- a social enterprise that combines sports and holistic education for young people.
  • Mariana Pajón, Pedaleando por un Sueño (Medellín) - an Olympic medallist empowering young children through sports.
  • Kelly Bessis, Dada (Paris) -- a boxing and fitness group for women.

Alexa Andersen, senior director for global women’s at Adidas, added, in her own statement, the partnership with iFundWomen aims to strike a balance in a sporting world traditionally dominated by men.

"Not only is lack of capital preventing women from starting businesses, but lack of access to mentors and support networks are also cited as the biggest barriers. Through this partnership, we’re able to support some of the most exciting women-led businesses in the industry, through funding, mentorship and more," Andersen said.

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