Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors, has announced the first program of its kind, FEMPRENEUR.XYZ: Trans Women and Non-Binary Femme Entrepreneurs Workshop & Clinic. “While entrepreneurship is tough, it’s a rewarding road that allows founders to take control of their own fates and shape them as they see fit. Unfortunately, black, Latinx, and/or indigenous trans women and non-binary femmes often find themselves left in the dark due to poverty, fear, and lack of accessible resources about what entrepreneurship requires,” explains Pipeline Angels Founder & CEO Natalia Oberti Noguera.
Since launching its first angel investing boot camp in April 2011, Pipeline has trained 200-plus women who have invested more than $2 million in more than 30 women-led, for-profit social enterprises through its summit process. “Pipeline Angels is committed to supporting more voices and when we were encouraged to launch our signature angel investing boot camp in Charlotte, North Carolina, it was important for us to identify a way to support more voices locally, adds Oberti Noguera.
Engaging Trans Women of Color Entrepreneurs
Tasked with helping to usher more trans women of color entrepreneurs in the Pipeline Angels Pitch Summit application process is Riley Hanson, co-founder and CTO of Inclusion Through Innovation. In fact, it was Hanson’s feedback that inspired the launch of FEMPRENEUR.XYZ. In-person events will take place in Charlotte and New York City as well as online to help trans women and non-binary femme entrepreneurs incorporate their businesses and participate in the 2016 Fall Pipeline Angels Pitch Summits.
FEMPRENEUR.XYZ supporters include the founder of TransH4CK, Kortney Ziegler. “We will be leveraging the technology of AerialSpaces, a startup co-founded with Tiffany Mikell, to offer the program as a webinar for trans women and non-binary femme entrepreneurs unable to attend any of the in-person events,” added Ziegler, who is trans himself. “Business literacy is important for trans and gender non-conforming individuals who are often excluded from spaces that provide it. We’re excited to work with Pipeline Angels and use our online platform to help reduce those barriers and make this important information more accessible to trans women entrepreneurs.”
Pro-bono Name Change and Incorporation Workshop
Pipeline Angels also has teamed up with Goodwin, a global 50 law firm, to provide a pro-bono name change and incorporation workshop. “A name change for trans women and/or non-binary femmes can be as life-saving as any other aspect of publicly embodying our gender,” explained Boudica Cooper, a non-binary black femme who is the program coordinator at Pipeline Angels, in a released statement. “For trans women especially, having a legal name that can out them as transgender is dangerous, given the transmisogynist violence within the civil and penal systems, which is in turn used to deny them access to basic human rights and dignity.”
“To offer this service to trans women and non-binary femme entrepreneurs allows us to grow our businesses without needing to sign or create documents with a legal name that misgenders us,” added Cooper. “It allows us to order services, to incorporate our businesses, and to market ourselves, all under our correct name. Instead of being financially burdened by needing to change our documents, contracts, and licenses to our correct name at a later date, by providing name change services, FEMPRENEUR.XYZ will help us save money that can go toward growing our businesses, communities, and ourselves.”