Dentsu Aegis Network brings Female Foundry to the United States creating a truly global accelerator programme


Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) today announced the launch of its global accelerator programme, Female Foundry, into the United States. The first city to launch will be Chicago, kicking off with a three-day boot camp event on May 18-20. Created by iProspect and powered by DAN, the programme aims to connect, mentor and develop female entrepreneurs. The application process is open to female-owned businesses in the Metro Chicago area. Deadline for entries is Monday, April 6 and the 15 entrepreneurs will be selected later in April.

Female Foundry first launched in Asia Pacific in 2016 and has scaled successfully since, through Africa, South America and now into North America. It was designed to support women in emerging markets with access to tools, training and connections, to enhance their entrepreneurship. This Chicago launch is the first step in establishing the programme in more mature markets in North America, initially in the US and then Canada.

Through Female Foundry Dentsu Aegis Network aims to bridge the gap in gender parity, which could in turn increase global GDP by $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion, according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group.

Anna Easton, Global Head of Social Impact at Dentsu Aegis Network, said; “Female Foundry is an integral part of our global network’s commitment to create a diverse and inclusive digital economy for all, We believe that as we empower women-owned businesses, we not only create stronger communities and more innovative economies, but we also contribute to bridging the gender gap and driving economic growth.”

iProspect’s proprietary research, Hear Her Voice, was the catalyst for the programme’s inception. “When we conducted our original Hear Her Voice research across Asia Pacific, it gave us insight into a new segment of women who have been empowered by technology to participate in the economy in ways unseen before” said Jeremy Cornfeldt, iProspect US CEO, “Since then, through Female Foundry we have upskilled 71 businesses around the world. Our aim through the new US research is to uncover meaningful data to help us better understand the barriers and opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the US.”

The new research, conducted this year by Dentsu Aegis Network and soon to be released, has found that women launching their own businesses in the US are seeking self-fulfillment, flexible working conditions and greater independence. However, they face the challenge of feeling isolated and do not have access to the same support networks as their male counterparts. The research also identifies that women from ethnic minorities have a greater appetite to invest in self-development. Female Foundry will create a sense of community and enhance the skills of the entrepreneurs, supporting them to thrive in the digital economy.

 “One of the most powerful elements of this programme is the opportunity for female entrepreneurs to come together and just open up — to become vulnerable,” said Deb Boyda, Isobar CEO. “This programme allows women to discuss their greatest business challenges and collaborate on solutions together, connecting on a deeper level. You're surrounded by people who have been through it or are experiencing it with you. That’s priceless.”

Female Foundry holds innovation, diversity, social sustainability and technology leadership at its core. It continues to build on the success of past business growth programmes from Singapore, Mexico, Chile, South Africa and India. Chicago was chosen as the first US site because of its diversity and opportunity for female-led businesses. Fifteen participants will have access to global resources and will take part in a three-day bootcamp to map their strategies for growth. Participants will be matched with a senior leader within Dentsu Aegis Network for long-term mentoring. Mentors will coach the entrepreneurs and help them work towards the business growth goals that they formulate during the bootcamp.

*Source: Statista

Female Foundry

Created by iProspect in Singapore in 2016 and powered by Dentsu Aegis Network, Female Foundry is our global mentorship and business growth programme for the female leaders of tomorrow.  It aims to empower female entrepreneurs, enable the development of tech-enabled businesses and drive economic growth around the world.

About Dentsu Aegis Network 

Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 40,000 dedicated specialists.