Mars-owned DOVE Chocolate looks to continue its commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs and small businesses in the US by launching its second year of DOVE InstaGrants, a program designed to uplift, celebrate and empower women entrepreneurs with a chance to win one of three $10,000 grants.
This year’s program provides women across the country an opportunity to pitch a new business idea or established small business concept for a chance to win a $10,000 grant and additional support to come in 2023. Applicants should share a 30-second business pitch via Instagram with the hashtags #DOVEInstaGrantsEntry and tag @DoveChocolate, or upload their video on the special website now through 11:59 pm EST on Monday, December 19.
“With the great success of last year’s program, we wanted to inspire moments of everyday happiness again by relaunching DOVE InstaGrants and offer even more women a chance to live out their business and entrepreneurial dreams,” says Michelle Deignan, senior director at Mars Wrigley. “According to researchers from Columbia Business School and London Business School, 63% of women entrepreneurs are less likely to receive funding than men, regardless of their background and ideas, so there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure women are given the financial confidence they need to excel.”
Last year’s winners included Lehia Apana from Polipoli Farms, a native-run farm using indigenous and modern growing practices in regenerative agroforests; Brittany Rhodes of Black Girl Mathgic, a subscription box designed to increase math confidence and decrease math anxiety in girls; and Shreya Nuli of Mobile Memory, a cost-effective screening tool that utilizes AI/ML to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s from vocal biomarkers.
“Black Girl MATHgic was able to expand our product offering, thanks in part to DOVE Chocolate InstaGrants in 2021,” says Brittany Rhodes, founder of Black Girl MATHgic. “In addition to continuing to inspire math confidence in young girls, we developed a quarterly subscription box for boys and are growing our customer base to include schools, districts and youth-serving organizations. We appreciate DOVE’s support in helping us building students’ skills and guiding our mission forward.”
The program builds on DOVE Chocolate’s long-standing partnership with CARE, an international humanitarian agency. The partnership works to empower women in West African cocoa-growing communities by building their financial literacy, defining their voices in financial decisions and developing their small businesses. The DOVE InstaGrants program aims to bring this purpose work to the US, as it has seen the empowerment financial community and conversation can offer in its work in West Africa.