Boundless Futures Foundation, a new private foundation, recently announced its commitment to provide financial support and leadership resources for aspiring female entrepreneurs starting businesses that aim to solve social issues. The Foundation will make grants to individuals and to mission-aligned nonprofits throughout the US.
Even though female-founded companies have been bringing in more venture capital investment across increasing numbers of deals in recent years, only about two percent of total start-up venture capital dollars in the US are invested in companies founded by women. Boundless Futures Foundation sets itself apart from other entrepreneurship-focused foundations by offering no-strings-attached grants for female entrepreneurs. Most investment firms take equity in the start-ups that receive funding.
Through personal experience, the Foundation’s founders Soon and McKeel Hagerty have seen the power of what a female business leader can do to make an impact on her family, community and society.
Soon Hagerty, co-founder of Boundless Futures Foundation
As a serial entrepreneur herself, Soon understands the excitement and the emotional journey that comes along with starting a business. Her entrepreneurial roots run deep, starting when she was a young child. She and her family emigrated from Vietnam to Fresno, California. They began selling fruits and vegetables from the back of a truck to grocery stores to support their family. They eventually created a wholesale produce business that still exists more than 40 years later.
Soon’s family’s experience inspired her to co-own and found several businesses, including Luxe Communications, Centigrade, a global marketing and events company, and The Good Bowl, a mission-based Vietnamese restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan, that donates $1 per bowl to charity. As Senior Vice President of Brand at Hagerty, Soon played a lead role in transforming the company from a local specialty insurance company to a global, publicly traded lifestyle brand for car lovers that joined the New York Stock Exchange (HGTY) in 2021 with a value of more than $3 billion.
“Starting a new business can mean high stakes with high stress, so Boundless Futures Foundation aims to support female entrepreneurs using a holistic approach to build confidence, embrace community support and make meaningful connections for female entrepreneurs to not only achieve their vision but also drive positive, sustainable change in society,” said Soon Hagerty. “Boundless Futures Foundation is built to be a trusted friend on a woman’s entrepreneurial journey.”
McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, first observed the power of women in business when his mother Louise led operations for the family business. In 1995, McKeel, in partnership with his sisters Kim and Tammy, led the business out of its start-up phase. Three decades later, the family company that started as a specialty insurance business has grown to provide products and services for the global collector car market.mi
In addition to attracting less invested capital, women entrepreneurs in the US self-report lower confidence in entrepreneurship skills than men do. Like women globally, they still lack equal access to business-related networks, funding and mentors or role models.
Boundless Futures Foundation supports female entrepreneurs whose businesses seek to solve social issues through their products and services, and through business models and practices. Boundless Futures Foundation grants provide capital and a supportive network that offers business answers and advice.
The Foundation’s goals
- Empower young women to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams by providing capital to support a new business that identifies and aims to solve a social issue. EmpowHer grants of up to $25,000 are awarded to female entrepreneurs who are at least 22 years old and are in the early stages of starting a business that addresses a social issue or has a purpose-driven concept embedded in its business model.
- Embrace entrepreneurs-in-the-making by ensuring that they are not alone on their journey. An Advisory Circle of seasoned female entrepreneurs offers resources including leadership development, skills-building assistance, mentorship and networking opportunities to support grantees. Their goal is to foster the development of the Foundation’s grant recipients, ensuring greater strategic-growth thinking, future financial sustainability and peer-to-peer networking.
- Elevate other nonprofits that pave the way for female business owners. Her Village grants of up to $25,000 are awarded to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that benefit female entrepreneurs.
Supporting female social entrepreneurs
“We believe in supporting all entrepreneurs. However, there is an imbalance in females acquiring access to resources to launch their own businesses. Having three daughters, we hope to create a world where they will have access and feel supported in their entrepreneurial journey if that’s the direction they choose in life,” said Soon Hagerty. “It was also important to focus our support on businesses that aim to solve social issues. We believe businesses that can combine both purpose and profit will create a long-lasting impact in society.”
Learn more about Boundless Futures Foundation, apply for funding, or obtain other resources by visiting boundlessfutures.org.
About Boundless Futures Foundation
Founded in September 2023 by Soon and McKeel Hagerty, Boundless Futures Foundation provides financial support and leadership resources to aspiring female entrepreneurs 22 years of age and older so they can have a boundless impact in society. The Foundation empowers women entrepreneurs in the United States by providing grant funding to individuals in the early stages of starting a business that solves a social issue and to mission-aligned nonprofits. The Foundation also provides access for individual grantees to an Advisory Circle, a supportive network during their entrepreneurial journey. For more information, visit boundlessfutures.org.
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