Brit + Co and Office Depot recently announced that Office Depot will continue to sponsor Selfmade, Brit + Co’s 10-week virtual startup school for women. The course has three sessions scheduled for spring, summer and fall. Brit + Co founder Brit Morin hosts the program. Dozens of other female founders, experts and investors will teach the curriculum. Topics will focus on social media, branding, fundraising and more. Past notable instructors include Bozoma Saint John (CMO, Netflix), Jenn Hyman (founder and CEO of Rent The Runway), Sheila Lirio Marcelo (founder of Care.com), Jaime Schmidt (founder of Schmidt’s Naturals) and Katherine Homuth (founder and CEO of Sheertex).
Office Depot’s continued sponsorship will provide free courses for up to 600 women in 2022. The focus will be on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities and women in need of support. The program will help them start, manage and grow the businesses of their dreams.
Over 2,400 women have turned to Selfmade to accelerate their founder experiences. Office Depot is Selfmade’s founding sponsor. The company has provided 800 of these talented women with full scholarships since the course launched in 2020. In addition, Office Depot has curated special promotions for businesses. It has also created a custom starter guide packed with lessons, templates and solutions to help all business owners navigate the start, growth and “keep business going” phases of their entrepreneurial journeys with tips on branding, marketing, fundraising and more.
Surveying the community
The Brit + Co team recently conducted an internal survey with the Selfmade community. Thirty-one percent of respondents highlighted that the pandemic made them rethink their goals or careers. “When we introduced Selfmade in 2020, the pandemic disproportionately impacted women. This led to the “She-cession” crisis. Women pursued entrepreneurship in record numbers because they didn’t have any choice. They needed to pave economic pathways for themselves to survive,” said Morin.
Over 50 percent of the survey takers felt that they were always meant to be an entrepreneur. However, they also felt that they needed help getting there. Selfmade and Office Depot remain deeply committed to serving women with the knowledge, resources and tools to fuel the community’s enterprises.
“Now, as women leaving the workforce continues to climb, they’re doing so on their terms. We’re seeing trends like The Great Resignation sweep the nation. Women are waking up to the notion that they don’t have to be bound by traditional 9-to-5’s. Selfmade is uniquely designed to help them navigate this transition. It fuels their entrepreneurial journeys in an environment with their needs and challenges in mind,” continued Morin.
Office Depot-sponsored student, Justine Pon, took the course to bring to life the business model for The Ponnery, a pom-pom goods line. Her mission is to celebrate Asian American food and culture through creative expression. “Thanks to Office Depot’s Selfmade scholarship, I was able to invest time in both myself and my business for ten weeks straight,” Pon said. “You have to put in the work to find your people and your audience. But it’s so valuable to have a community of people to support you through the ups and downs of running a business. Selfmade really expanded my network.”
“We’re excited to continue to champion women in business and help to open new doors and possibilities through our continued sponsorship of Brit + Co’s Selfmade virtual business course,” said Wesley Brinkhurst, vice president of marketing for Office Depot. “With an additional 600 scholarships available for sessions in 2022, we hope to help women kickstart their big ideas and turn their dreams into reality.”
Features and benefits of the Selfmade virtual business course include:
- 15+ hours of live instruction in all facets of how to start a company
- 1:1 mentoring and group chats with like-minded entrepreneurs
- Customizable templates for P&Ls, pitch decks, marketing assets and more
- Access to world-class experts in tech, finance, marketing, sales and investing
Selfmade scholarship registration is currently open for 2022. Scholarship applicants can apply for the spring session, which will be accepting applicants until Friday, Feb. 25, and the class will kick off on Monday, Mar. 28. For more information on Selfmade, visit TrySelfmade.com and to nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, visit officedepot.com/scholarship.
About Brit + Co
Founded by Brit Morin, Brit + Co is on a mission to give women the courage and creativity to live life at their fullest potential. Through our inspirational content, educational online classes and useful products, she is enabled to shape her future. Over the past nine years, Brit + Co has become one of the largest digital brands for women. It reaches an engaged community of over 115 million monthly users across its website and platforms. It is a top-five global publisher on Pinterest, has garnered over a billion video views and has produced more than 60,000 pieces of content. The brand extends offline as well, with permanent retail experiences, classes, events, and physical products sold at mass retail stores nationwide. Visit Brit.co for more information.
About Office Depot
Office Depot, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The ODP Corporation, a leading provider of business services and supplies, products and digital workplace technology solutions to small, medium and enterprise businesses, through an integrated business-to-business (B2B) distribution platform, which includes world-class supply chain and distribution operations, dedicated sales professionals and technicians, online presence, and approximately 1,100 stores. Through its banner brands Office Depot, OfficeMax, ODP Business Solutions, Varis and Grand&Toy, as well as others, the company offers its customers the tools and resources they need to focus on their passion of starting, growing and running their business.