We at the UnTours Foundation know that women entrepreneurs are powerhouses who not only build strong, sustainable businesses, but also create incredible impact in their communities.
In the United States alone, women are launching more than 1,100 new businesses every single day —which is two and a half times the national average—and yet 66% of entrepreneurial women still encounter significant challenges in securing the funding they need. What’s more, women-led businesses not only drive more meaningful social impact initiatives, but they are also more profitable (Harvard Business Review, 2021; S&P Global, 2019)!
The UnTours Foundation is proud to be part of closing the gap in financing women-led companies and unlocking the incredible social and economic impact of these businesses. We are currently invested in over 20 companies (historically more than half the businesses we’ve invested in have been!) led by women. Today on International Women’s Day, we want to highlight some of our incredible women founders in our portfolio.
World-Changing Women-Led Companies
ROAR: ROAR is a technology company dedicated to creating safer workplaces for vulnerable employees. In 2015, a seed investment from the UnTours Foundation helped founder Yasmine Mustafa build a prototype of the ROAR Panic Button Solution, which protects frontline hotel and healthcare employees with one press of a silent, wearable button to summon help quickly in potentially dangerous situations. In 2021, another UnTours Foundation investment supported this Certified B Corporation’s marketing efforts to help take the company to the next stage of growth and impact.
CERO: Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics, (CERO) is a zero-waste commercial composting company based in Dorchester, MA serving the greater Boston area. This bilingual, worker-owned cooperative removes more than 1,000 tons of food waste from the trash cycle annually and transports it to local farms to be composted. The UnTours Foundation has provided two financial investments and personal consulting to CERO, which was co-founded by Guadalupe Gonzalez.
The GREEN Program: The UnTours Foundation is proud to have funded female founder Melissa Lee when she began the GREEN Program. Featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer cover story, this Philadelphia-based organization offers college students the chance to travel to destinations like Iceland, Peru, Japan, and Nepal for in-depth educational trips and receive college credit. Travelers learn about local ecological efforts, green energy, natural and cultural conservation, historical heritage, local economies, and other important issues onsite. They hear from local experts and connect with local communities to build understanding and develop a passion for protecting nature.
wearwell: The UnTours Foundation is honored to be an early investor in wearwell and part of their pre-launch pilot program. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, wearwell is on a mission to revolutionize the fashion industry. wearwell co-founders Erin Houston and Emily Kenney spent a combined 20 years in international development–including working with Fortune 500 companies to incorporate responsible practices–and started wearwell to make it easy to buy ethical and sustainable products and to support brands making a positive impact for garment workers and the environment.
Grant Blvd: Grant Blvd is a Black women-owned, Philadelphia-based apparel brand founded by Kimberly McGlonn. This Certified B Corporation was founded in 2017 and is on a mission to construct truly stylish, sustainably sourced fashion while supporting women who have faced cultural barriers in fashion design. The UnTours Foundation funded the launch of Grant Blvd’s manufacturing studio.
Support Us in Supporting Women-Led Businesses
If you are as passionate about funding women-led companies as we are, consider becoming an UnDonor and contributing to our investment fund to grow more amazing ventures like the ones featured here.
Check out More UnTours Foundation Women-Led Investments:
Cheryl’s Southern Style Cuisine
Circle of Aunts & Uncles
Comon Yaj Noptic
Kitchen Harvest (Philly Compost)
Ocean Soul Africa
Yellow Leaf Hammocks