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Prosper Institute, an organization that helps growth-seeking women entrepreneurs advance their businesses, announced today that it has rebranded to Brazen.
When defined literally, the new name means “bold and without apologies; without shame,” capturing the spirit of the organization that encourages women entrepreneurs to “Be Brazen.” Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator, LLC, a separate sister organization focused on increasing women entrepreneurs’ access to growth capital, will retain its name.
“We have to change the paradigm for women in St. Louis,” says Jennifer Ehlen, founder and CEO of Brazen. “It starts by setting aside our frustrations with glass ceilings by creating our own companies where there is no ceiling in the first place. To be bolder as we grow our companies and stop apologizing for running our companies the way we want and need to. Brazen can help women do that.”
Brazen will continue to offer the organization’s flagship Power Growth Groups peer-advisory group program (formerly called Mastermind groups), as well as additional programming launching in May. The new programming will be part of a new membership platform, where members get access to curated online content via the Brazen Vault, inspirational and impactful events and opportunities to receive one-on-one mentoring via Power Hours sessions.
Numbers show a need for an organization like Brazen. A 2011 Kauffman Foundation study showed that while 38 percent of all entrepreneurs are women, only 1.8 percent of women-led businesses grow to more than $1 million in annual revenue. Additionally, only 2.7 percent of companies led by a woman received venture capital investments, according to a 2014 study, “Diana Report Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital.”
“The playing field is lopsided for women entrepreneurs, but we are heartened because we’ve seen the amazing things that can happen when Brazen women entrepreneurs get together and set their sights on building organizations on their own terms,” Ehlen says.
The new Brazen membership platform will be rolled out at a launch event in May. St. Louisans interested in getting involved as an entrepreneur, sponsor or mentor can sign up at Brazen’s new website, BrazenGlobal.com, or follow Brazen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@brazenglobal).