We’re Spotlighting Female Entrepreneurs of Color in Our Magazine, and We Want to Include You

·6 min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

So you’ve started a successful business (congrats, btw!), you’re a pro at wearing *all* the hats, and you’d love to finally put the acceptance speech that pops into your mind at 2 a.m. to good use. Sounds like you’re a good candidate for The New C-Suite, an initiative from Cosmopolitan and digitalundivided that celebrates and honors women of color entrepreneurs. Keep reading for all the details and how to apply!

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

What exactly is The New C-Suite?

We’re glad you asked! The New C-Suite is a program open to BIPOC women who have founded and currently operate their own businesses. It’s run by Cosmopolitan (hi!) and digitalundivided, a nonprofit and social start-up that leverages data, advocacy, programming, training, fellowships, and more to catalyze growth for Black and Latinx women. The goal at digitalundivided is to help women of color own their work and to create systemic change and more pathways for women of color in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. Together, we’ll be inducting 10 women of color into The New C-Suite for the first time this fall with a feature in our magazine, on our website, and across social media.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

By spotlighting these women, we hope to help shape the future of entrepreneurship, which, to put it mildly, hasn’t always been an inclusive, equitable business space. Currently, women of color receive just a tiny fraction of total venture capital investment, and they lack many of the resources and support that their white peers have easier access to. The New C-Suite’s mission is to help change this by celebrating women of color entrepreneurs, spreading awareness about their companies, and helping them take their businesses to the next level.

And what, specifically, would I get out of it?

Meaningful business resources from digitalundivided plus major media exposure (Cosmopolitan is the largest young women’s media brand in the world.)

More specifically, The New C-Suite members will:

  • Get exclusive business development sessions led by digitalundivided experts

  • Get additional one-on-one mentoring sessions with business development leaders in the digitalundivided network

  • Be featured panelists at digitalundivided’s quarterly undivided We Rise Summit for business leaders and experts

  • Collectively be honored in a Cosmopolitan October 2021 print magazine feature story

  • Collectively be honored—along with their businesses and/or products—in a feature story on Cosmopolitan.com

  • Collectively receive promotion on Cosmopolitan’s Instagram and/or other social media accounts

Who can apply?

To be eligible for The New C-Suite, you must:

  • Identify as a woman of color

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Have launched a business in—and that’s still based in—the United States and its territories

  • Run a successful company that stands out in your industry and is on track for long-term growth

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Ideally, The New C-Suite applicants will work in or across industries including beauty & fashion, arts & entertainment, hospitality & food/drink, communications & media, health & wellness, sports & gaming, science, technology, finance, or education. But if you don’t see your field on this list, feel free to still apply and check “other” in the appropriate spot on the application.

What if I have a cofounder?

We love a dynamic duo. If you’re selected, we can honor you and up to one (1) cofounder, as long as your business partner also falls within our eligibility requirements (take one more peek at those above). If your partner does not meet those requirements—or if you want to apply on your own—we’d still love to honor you and your business (just note that you, not your partner, will be the official member of The New C-Suite).

How exactly do I apply?

Simply click here for the application page and follow the instructions (be prepared to humblebrag about yourself and your company)! Submissions open at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday, May 10, 2021, and close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Can I nominate a friend or peer?

You can definitely encourage them to apply: Visit the application page and click “Nominate a Friend.” This will auto-generate an email with information about The New C-Suite and the application process that you can send to the all-star entrepreneur in your life. From there, it’s up to them to determine if they want to go for it (ofc, we hope they do!).

Okay, I’m going to apply! What happens next?

Cosmopolitan and digitalundivided will vet applicants over the course of two weeks following the submission deadline. We will base our vetting on eligibility criteria and also take innovation, creativity, and the longevity of your business into account. We’d also love for your business to be tech-enabled, with a website and/or social media presence.

Once the vetting process is over, we will pass a list of potential honorees to our all-female judging panel, who will ultimately select the first 10 members of The New C-Suite.

What criteria will the judging panel use?

In addition to the eligibility criteria listed above, our judges will be looking for women of color entrepreneurs with companies that:

  • Have been operating for at least one (1) year

  • Have proven to be financially viable or show strong traction with a quantifiable ability to grow (aka they’re on track for long-term success)

  • Stand out in some way in their industry, including (but not limited to!) with problem-solving products, original ideas for untapped markets, and creative business executions

Who is on the judging panel?

Oh, just a few names you might recognize, including *ahem* seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and EleVen founder Venus Williams, Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Jessica Pels, Cosmopolitan beauty director Julee Wilson, and digitalundivided CEO Lauren Maillian, among others.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

How will I be notified if I’m an honoree?

Representatives from Cosmopolitan and/or digitalundivided will notify you via phone or email no later than June 30 if you have been selected to be a part of The New C-Suite.

What’s the timeline for all this again?

The deadline to apply for The New C-Suite is Friday, June 4, 2021. Sorry, no late submissions—we thrive on deadlines over here!

The selection process will begin on Monday, June 7, and conclude with the judges’ final selections on June 29. If you are chosen as an honoree, you will be notified by June 30.

Then the real fun begins: Cosmopolitan’s editorial team will be in touch about planning our editorial coverage, which may include interviews and photo requests in mid- to late summer. The official announcement of The New C-Suite will begin on September 14, when Cosmopolitan’s October 2021 issue (including The New C-Suite feature story!) goes on sale.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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