Friendship Heights-based Hera Hub DC is investing more resources into women entrepreneurs.
With locations in Phoenix, San Diego and elsewhere, Hera Hub is a woman-focused coworking space and incubator. Hera Hub was founded in 2011 for entrepreneurial women to create and collaborate in a professional, “spa-inspired” environment. The D.C. space opened up in 2015.
Last spring, Hera Hub DC started the Hera Launch program to help women entrepreneurs kickstart their business ventures.
“Although the formal program started last year, we’ve been teaching the content since we opened almost five years ago through workshops, member programs and one-on-one consultation,” Hera Hub DC CEO Julia Westfall told Technical.ly.
Early last year, Hera Hub DC formalized the curriculum to officially launch the program. The six-week program consists of weekly two-hour sessions that help women entrepreneurs explore customer discovery, business model, target market, pricing, sales and projection when it comes to their ventures. Experts from each area will present at the in-person sessions.
The program was created to help women entrepreneurs determine what their businesses will look like by helping them identify clear goals. Hera Launch is geared toward consulting and professional service-based companies; since the needs of tech startups are unique, those companies won’t be accepted into the program.
“We saw a gap in the market for the women leaving their careers in corporate or public sector organizations to start their own consulting services-based company and decided that is where we wanted to focus for this program,” said Westfall. “Although we do have several tech startups in our membership, [the consulting services] sector also represents 80% of our current membership.”
Citing successes, Westfall said one of the members in the first cohort revised her proposal format based upon what she learned in the program and signed a new client the first time she used it. Another two participants decided to team up to develop their ventures together to offer their own unique value proposition to clients.
Hera Hub DC is currently accepting apps for the second Hera Launch program cohort, with programming beginning on March 30. Applicants should expect to share their business plan and be prepared for a phone interview. There will be six applicants selected for the upcoming program.
At the conclusion of the program, participants will become part of an ongoing network of fellow Launch participants for support and continued resource sharing. Hera Hub DC manages an online community, hosts Zoom calls and conducts quarterly, in-person meetings for Launch program alumni to stay connected.
Hera Hub DC is also offering a free, alternative version of its program called the Hera Launch Mini Course, which offers a series of emails that guides participants through the six steps of the Hera Launch program.
“Over the next several months we will be continuing to build our educational programming in support of women business owners and startups in the DMV,” said Westfall.
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