Delta Dental invests $828K to support minority entrepreneurs
Okemos, Michigan—Inclusion is integral to a thriving society: when diverse businesses thrive, so do the communities where they are located. Yet women, minorities, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIA+ community often face barriers and obstacles to founding their own businesses.
To provide these groups with opportunities to learn from others and to access startup capital, Delta Dental has made a $828,000 investment in the Lightship Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs from marginalized backgrounds.
The investment from Delta Dental will be used to fund Lightship bootcamps in Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati this summer and fall, and a Lightship Accelerator in Detroit. Both programs offer education, networking and mentorship opportunities for business founders.
“A community can only be truly successful if opportunities are available to all,” said Margaret Trimer, vice president of strategic partnerships for Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. “Minority entrepreneurs have historically struggled to break into the mainstream. These bootcamps are rigorous and exciting and they will be game-changing for the attendees.”
The bootcamps are a free, two-day program providing beginning entrepreneurs with expert advice on sales tactics, legal information, investment readiness, marketing and more. Since 2017, 72 business founders have completed the program, and $100 million has been raised for their businesses.
Lightship Accelerator is free, 12-week program based in Detroit that provides support and business education to women and minority entrepreneurs in technology. Participants in the Accelerator also receive a $250,000 investment from the Lightship Foundation.
For more information, visit www.lightship.education.