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The menternship'S

MINCUBATOR Initiative

Our mission is to elevate Black and Brown young women through personal and professional development. Using our network and resources, we seek to equip generations of purpose-driven leaders with the connections, skills, and values needed to serve and thrive in high-influence industries and beyond.

The Menternship's Mincubator Initiative provides funding and business advising for Black and Brown women-owned small businesses.  We prioritize supporting entrepreneurs and businesses in entertainment, media, sports, beauty and community impact.  Through our Mincubator, participants receive $1500 in grant funding and 1-on-1 consulting with experts in their field.

 
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Meet Industry Experts

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Paris Simpson

Paris Simpson is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, where she earned a degree in Multimedia Communications. Her previous experience working in radio, event planning, promotions, community, and physical production, has enhanced her ability to work seamlessly across multiple platforms.

 

She is currently the VP of Development for the newly founded production company A Seed & Wings and Creative Director for the philanthropic initiative, B-amazing, which aims to empower the youth through encouragement and positive declarations of self.

 

Concurrently, Paris also works as a Creative Executive at Harpo Films, helping shape content that is both reflective and progressive in its representation of the African American community. Her work in both B-amazing and content development is fueled by her desire to inspire and motivate others through art and personal connection.

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Maura Chanz

Maura Chanz is a creative with a rare ability to connect with all audiences. 

Beginning her entertainment career at the age of 13, Maura has appeared on Disney’s A.N.T. Farm and numerous national commercials. She formerly served as the creative director and producer of former LA-based lifestyle group TheBlakSheep TV founded by actor Kofi Siriboe, which has garnered over 10million plus channel views. While taking a personal hiatus from acting, Maura earned a B.A. in Comparative Women’s Studies and Writing from Spelman College. Upon completing her studies, Maura returned to entertainment and served as an apprentice to writer, producer, and showrunner, Mara Brock Akil, where she further fostered her passion for producing. 

 

Today, Maura can be found in the city of Los Angeles, creating for herself and others. She is the Director of Creative Media for 7th Sun Productions and the founder of TRIBE, a women’s empowerment organization dedicated to reigniting the spirit of tribal community amongst women.

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Alexis Wilson

Alexis Wilson is a dynamic social entrepreneur, speaker, brand builder and Founder/CEO of The Menternship, our non-profit dedicated to the personal and professional development of Black and Brown young women with interest in entertainment, media, sports and fashion. In the past decade, Wilson has keynoted national confrences, launched several successful ventures and formed partnerships with some of the largest brands across the globe such as Nike, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and L'Oréal Paris.

 

Outside of her work with The Menternship, Alexis is the CEO of Exalt Management, a brand management agency that specializes in helping athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs level up from the inside out. She has devoted the past 5 years of her life to researching how humans can be renewed in mind, body and spirit, and has in turn identified efficient tools and practices for life transformation and elevation. Wilson uses her proficiency in personal development and her robust experience in branding to take a holistic approach to brand management.

Alexis hails from Michigan where she studied Communications and Entrepreneurship at The University of Michigan.

 

TIMELINE

APPLICATIONS

ACCEPTED

Apps close at 11:59pm ET
October 1st - October 10th

APPLICATIONS

REVIEWED

October 11th - October 24th

APPLICANTS

NOTIFIED

October 25th
 

ELIGIBILITY

  •  We’re looking for Black and Brown women in their twenties with small businesses in the TV & Film industry. See examples below:

    • Directing, Production, Screenwriting, etc.

    • Videography, Photography, Lighting, etc.

    • Crafty, Hair and Makeup, costume design/styling, set & prop design/construction, etc. 

    • Post Production (editing, music composition, sound, etc.)

    • Publicity, marketing, distribution etc.

  • If you are a freelancer you are not eligible. The Mincubator is for businesses and nonprofits that are in good standing and incorporated as a legal entity. You must be registered in the U.S. and its territories as a legal entity, having an EIN. 

  • You must be 18 years or older to apply. 

  • You have fewer than 10 employees. 

  • Your annual revenues did not exceed $100k in any of the past three years.

  • Applicants may not use funding towards prior projects or events. You may only use this grant for upcoming projects and expenses.

  • Individuals may only be the recipient of one microgrant every three years.

  • Previous Menterns are not eligible to apply at this time. 

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

The Menternship’s mission is to elevate Black and Brown young women so that they may serve and thrive in high-influence industries and beyond. Compelling applications will demonstrate your character and values as a business woman, as well as your company’s commitment to expansion and impact. 

REVIEW PROCESS:

Applications will be reviewed by The Menternship’s 100% women-led team. Applicants will be notified of one’s application status by October 25th. Finalists should then be prepared to provide due diligence and grant documentation within 72 hours of notification (see Q&A).

 

RECIPROCITY:

The recipient is required to hold a brief support call with The Menternship’s leadership team prior to disbursement of funds. 

The recipient will be obligated to provide a short written report detailing use of funds and grant activity to The Menternship within 90 days of receiving funds. In addition to a short written report, recipient will also provide photo/video progress at the 45 day mark and upon completion of the 90 day period. If awarded, the applicant gives consent for The Menternship to repost or share the applicant’s media and/or digital content, including but not limited to press releases, social media photos or videos, and web content, for the purposes of promotion.

 

APPLICATION FORMAT:

Applications should be submitted electronically using the online application. Want to confirm that we’ve received your application? You can only apply to this grant once, so check the application link to confirm you’ve submitted.

For any additional application materials, please send to connect@thementernship.org

MINCUBATOR FAQ’s

Q: How does The Menternship define “women-owned”?

A: The Menternship seeks to support businesses and nonprofits run by people who are woman-identifying. We follow the criteria of the Small Business Administration and define “women-owned” as 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. Businesses must meet these criteria to be eligible to apply. In the case of nonprofits, leadership must be 51% or more controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women to be eligible to apply.

If your business or nonprofit is selected as a finalist, we will require supporting information to confirm your organization is women-led. This may include, but is not limited to: staff lists (including your Board Of Directors if your entity is a nonprofit), a Schedule K-1, or WBENC Certification.

 

Q: Will there be additional documentation required after I submit my application? 

A: If your business or nonprofit is selected as a finalist, we will notify you via email. Being selected as a finalist does not guarantee you will receive a grant. As a finalist, additional documentation will be required to verify information provided in your application. Required due diligence information may include an EIN, W-9 Form, and appropriate banking information in order to receive funds via ACH if awarded. Required grant documentation may include evidence that your business or nonprofit is women-owned, as well as financial statements.

 

Q: How can I get in touch with a member of The Menternship team?

A: You can reach us at connect@thementernship.org.

 

Q: What if my business has been dormant due to the COVID19 pandemic? Do I still qualify?

A: Yes! You can tell us more about this in question 2 on the application.