Basic Information

What is the name of your organization?

AMDR Foundation Inc.

Is your organization registered as 501(c)(3) status with the IRS?


In what city, town, or region and state is your organization headquartered?

Atlanta, GA, USA

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address? [Select up to 2]

  • Financial readiness: Developing new or improved methods, or tools, that assist in financial preparation for loan acquisition, including assessing credit and assets, loan to debt ratio, cost of growth and information on alternative funding sources.
  • Data and impact: Capturing, synthesizing, optimizing, and/or displaying data for business intelligence, impact evaluation, and/or improved decision making for resource allocation.

What is the name of your solution?

EmpowerTech for Women Entrepreneurs

What is your solution?

EmpowerTech for Women Entrepreneurs (ETWE), is designed to foster business growth and financial readiness. It's a technology platform that brings various resources and tools under one roof. Here's how it works:

  • What it is: ETWE is a one-stop platform aiming to support women and minority business owners.
  • What it does: It assists with financial preparation, such as understanding credit and loans, connects owners to vendors and suppliers, and provides insights for scaling, financial health, employee advancement, and data analysis.
  • Processes and Technology: Utilizing cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and mobile applications, it offers interactive tools, predictive modeling, and real-time updates.
  • Human-Centered Design: ETWE is built with the user in mind. It's not just about algorithms and data but understanding the human needs and complexities of running a small business. The interface is user-friendly, and the tools are designed to be intuitive and responsive to the specific needs of women entrepreneurs.

By seamlessly blending technology with a human touch, ETWE aims to be a catalyst for the growth of small businesses, focused on empowering women to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams through innovation, connection, and continuous support. We will provide a comprehensive solution that is forward-thinking, compassionate, and personalized.

Film your elevator pitch.

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

EmpowerTech for Women Entrepreneurs is a synergistic integration of modern and intuitive technologies designed to holistically support the needs of women and minority business owners. Here's how the technology functions:

  1. Cloud Computing: ETWE leverages cloud-based systems to enable seamless access to resources and tools from anywhere. The scalability and flexibility offered by cloud computing ensure that the platform can grow with its user base, providing uninterrupted support.

  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML algorithms are deployed in the financial readiness and internal financial health sections of the platform. They assist in credit score simulations, predictive modeling for business planning, and automating financial record keeping. This allows for personalized insights and forecasts, tailored to each user's unique business model.

  3. Mobile Applications: Recognizing the importance of accessibility, ETWE offers a mobile application that provides real-time updates, notifications, and a user-friendly interface. This ensures that entrepreneurs can access the platform's services on-the-go.

  4. Data Analytics & Visualization: The platform includes tools for capturing and synthesizing data, offering visualizations for business intelligence. This helps in impact evaluation and informed decision-making for resource allocation.

  5. Human-Centered Design Principles: ETWE isn't just technology-driven; it's people-focused. The design incorporates empathy, usability, and responsiveness to the needs and feedback of the users. This ensures that the platform isn't just a collection of tools but a supportive partner in the entrepreneurial journey.

  6. Digital Marketplace: Through a unique digital marketplace feature, the platform connects business owners to vendors, suppliers, and networks, transforming their procurement abilities. This is coupled with AI-driven recommendations to suggest strategic connections.

  7. Learning and Development Modules: Utilizing interactive e-learning technologies, the platform offers upskilling and reskilling modules for employee advancement, along with expert-driven webinars and workshops.

  8. Security Protocols: Understanding the sensitive nature of financial and business data, robust security measures and encryption technologies are implemented to safeguard user information.

  9. Community Building & Social Integration: By utilizing social networking technologies, ETWE fosters a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, providing a space for collaboration, support, and growth.

The beauty of ETWE lies in its integration of diverse technologies, all working in harmony to empower, educate, and elevate women entrepreneurs. It's not about using technology for the sake of technology but leveraging it to genuinely make a difference in the lives of those who have traditionally been underserved. By combining modern technological advancements with a human-centered approach, ETWE stands as a testament to the transformative power of innovation aligned with empathy and purpose. It's a game-changer, not just in terms of technology but in its potential to reshape the landscape of entrepreneurship for women and minorities in the United States.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Internet of Things
  • Software and Mobile Applications
  • Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

Who does your solution serve, including demographics, and how does the solution impact their lives?

ETWE is specifically designed to serve underserved women and minority entrepreneurs in the the State of Georgia. Here's a breakdown of the target population and how ETWE impacts their lives:

1. Demographics:

  • Gender: Predominantly women.
  • Race/Ethnicity: Focus on minority groups, including African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American communities.
  • Age: Broad age range, primarily 18-60 years old.
  • Income: Targeting low to middle-income individuals who have limited access to traditional business resources.
  • Education: Varied educational backgrounds, with a focus on those who may lack formal business education.

2. How They Are Currently Underserved:

  • Limited Access: Many women and minority entrepreneurs face barriers in accessing financial resources, mentoring, and business development support.
  • Lack of Representation: Traditional business platforms often do not cater specifically to the unique challenges and needs of these demographics.

3. Understanding Their Needs:

  • Community Engagement: Regular workshops, surveys, and feedback sessions to understand the specific needs, challenges, and aspirations of the target community.
  • Collaboration with Local Organizations: Partnering with local nonprofits and community leaders to gain deeper insights.

4. How ETWE Addresses Their Needs:

  • Financial Readiness: Tools to understand credit, loans, and alternative funding.
  • Business Development: Connecting with vendors and suppliers.
  • Upskilling and Reskilling: Support in employee advancement.
  • Community Building: A network of support and collaboration.
  • Personalized Insights: AI-driven personalization to cater to individual business needs.

5. Impact on Lives:

  • Empowerment: Empowering women to break barriers and achieve entrepreneurial success.
  • Economic Growth: Facilitating economic growth within minority communities.
  • Skill Development: Enhancing skills and confidence to navigate the business landscape.

ETWE is not just a platform; it's a movement aiming to level the playing field, recognize the potential, and foster the growth of women and minority entrepreneurs. By understanding, engaging, and tailoring the solution to their specific needs, ETWE aims to be a transformative force in their entrepreneurial journey.

Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

ETWE is crafted to align with the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards Challenge as follows:

1. Problem Alignment: The Challenge emphasizes the need for technology-based solutions to enhance resiliency and sustainability for small businesses, especially those from undercapitalized communities. The problem ETWE addresses is the lack of accessible, comprehensive, and personalized support for women and minority entrepreneurs. 

2. Solution Alignment: ETWE's innovative platform offers a technology-driven, multifaceted approach. It encompasses financial readiness, business development, support scaling, internal financial health, employee advancement, and data impact. This aligns perfectly with the Challenge's call for tech-enabled solutions to address specific dimensions. The selected dimensions:

  • Financial Readiness: Tools and methods to assist in financial preparation.
  • Business Development & Procurement: Connecting business owners to vendors and networks.

3. Population Alignment: The target population of women and minority entrepreneurs is in line with the Challenge's emphasis on entrepreneurs from undercapitalized communities. ETWE focuses on empowering this demographic, directly addressing the Challenge's objective.

4. Technology Alignment: By leveraging AI, cloud computing, mobile applications, and human-centered design, ETWE embodies the Challenge's call for innovative and transformative technology solutions.

5. Impact Alignment: ETWE's potential to foster growth, resilience, and success among women entrepreneurs aligns with the Challenge's vision of transforming how small businesses operate in the United States.

Every facet of ETWE, from the problem it addresses to the technology it employs and the community it serves, is in harmony with the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards Challenge, reflecting a shared vision and commitment to innovation, empowerment, and positive transformation.

What is your theory of change?

ETWE's platform is grounded in the logical progression of activities, outputs, and outcomes, aimed at fostering growth and success for women and minority entrepreneurs. Here's how it unfolds:

1. Activities:

  • Development of a Comprehensive Platform: Integrating tools for financial readiness, business development, scaling support, employee advancement, and data analytics.
  • Community Engagement and Collaboration: Working with local organizations and the target population to understand specific needs.
  • Regular Updates and Personalization: Leveraging AI for tailored insights and regular updates based on user feedback.

2. Immediate Outputs:

  • Increased Access: Entrepreneurs have access to comprehensive tools and resources in one platform.
  • Personalized Support: AI-driven personalization provides unique insights and recommendations.
  • Community Building: Entrepreneurs connect, collaborate, and support each other.

3. Short-Term Outcomes:

  • Enhanced Financial Readiness: Better understanding of credit, loans, and growth costs.
  • Improved Business Connections: Increased connections to vendors and suppliers.
  • Skill Development: Upskilling and reskilling of employees.

4. Long-Term Outcomes:

  • Business Growth and Success: Entrepreneurs are empowered to navigate challenges and grow their businesses.
  • Economic Upliftment: Economic growth within minority communities.
  • Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs: Breaking barriers and achieving success in entrepreneurship.

5. Evidence Supporting the Links:

  • Pilot Feedback: The initial roll-out in Atlanta showed positive feedback, with users highlighting the platform's relevance and impact.
  • Third-Party Research: Existing research supports the importance of targeted support for women and minority entrepreneurs.
  • Community Insights: Regular workshops and surveys validate the needs and aspirations of the target population.

6. Assumptions:

  • Adoption of Technology: The success relies on the target population adopting and actively engaging with the technology.
  • Continued Collaboration: Ongoing collaboration with community leaders and local organizations.

The theory of change for ETWE is rooted in a systematic and empathetic approach, connecting activities to tangible outcomes that align with the mission of empowering women and minority entrepreneurs. By creating a platform that resonates with their needs, fosters connections, and provides personalized insights, ETWE aims to be a catalyst for positive change, growth, and success in the entrepreneurial landscape. The process is supported by evidence from pilots, community engagement, and existing research, reinforcing the belief in ETWE's potential to make a lasting impact.

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: a product, service, or business model that is in the process of being built and tested with a small number of beneficiaries or working to gain traction.

What is your organization’s stage of development?

Growth: A registered 501(c)(3) organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth and has a proven track record with an annual operating budget
More About Your Solution

How many small businesses does your solution currently serve?

The ETWE platform by AMDR Foundation is currently in the pilot stage and has been actively engaged with a targeted group of small businesses. Here's the breakdown:

  • Currently Serving: Since the platform is in the pilot stage, it is currently serving 50 small businesses. These businesses are part of our initial rollout to test and refine the platform, and the engagement has been intensive and meaningful.
  • In One Year: With the insights gained from the pilot and planned expansion, we anticipate serving approximately 500 small businesses in one year. This growth will be facilitated through community outreach, partnerships, and marketing.
  • In Five Years: Looking at the five-year horizon, we aim to serve over 5,000 small businesses. We envision scaling our solution across different regions, continually adapting to the evolving needs of women and minority entrepreneurs, and fostering a community that thrives on collaboration and support.

These numbers reflect not just a quantitative goal but a qualitative commitment to making a genuine and lasting impact in the lives of women and minority entrepreneurs. Through ETWE, we are not merely providing a service; we are building a movement that empowers, educates, and elevates small business owners, helping them navigate the complex landscape of entrepreneurship and achieve their dreams. By focusing on this specific demographic, we ensure that our impact is not only broad but deep and resonant with the communities we serve.

How do you define the community you serve, and who are its stakeholders?

The community served by AMDR Foundation's ETWE is defined by women and minority small business owners, particularly those in undercapitalized and underserved communities.

Stakeholders include:

  • Entrepreneurs: The primary beneficiaries, who influence the platform's features and services through feedback and engagement.
  • Local Community Organizations: Partnerships with local nonprofits and community leaders ensure alignment with community needs.
  • Investors and Donors: Financial supporters who enable the scaling of the platform.
  • Local Government Officials: Collaboration with local authorities to align with regional economic development goals.
  • Employees and Volunteers: The internal team driving the solution, shaping its direction, and implementation.
  • Academic and Industry Experts: Collaborators who provide insights, mentorship, and expertise.

Together, these stakeholders form a collaborative ecosystem around ETWE, each contributing to and benefiting from the platform's mission to empower, connect, and support women and minority entrepreneurs in their journey to success.

How do you build trust within the community your organization serves and among small business owners?

Building trust within the community and among small business owners is vital to AMDR Foundation's mission. Our approach includes:

  • Community Engagement: Hosting regular workshops, forums, and feedback sessions to understand the specific needs, challenges, and aspirations of our target audience.
  • Transparent Communication: Keeping an open line of communication through newsletters, social media updates, and personalized emails, sharing progress, success stories, and opportunities for involvement.
  • Collaborations with Local Organizations: Partnering with community leaders and local nonprofits ensures alignment with community values and extends our reach.
  • Tailored Support: Offering personalized support and tools, showing that we understand and care about each entrepreneur's unique journey.
  • Inclusive Decision Making: Involving community members in decision-making processes, reinforcing that their voices matter.

These methods are chosen to foster a sense of belonging, collaboration, and empowerment, ensuring that the community sees AMDR Foundation not merely as a service provider but a partner in their entrepreneurial success.

What are your impact goals for the current year and the next five years and how will you achieve them?

AMDR Foundation's ETWE platform has ambitious yet attainable impact goals for both the current year and the next five years:

Current Year Goals:

  • Expand Reach: Serve 500 small businesses, focusing on women and minority entrepreneurs.
  • Enhance Platform Features: Refine tools and functionalities based on user feedback.
  • Strengthen Community Engagement: Establish new partnerships with local organizations and community leaders.
  • Measure Impact: Conduct assessments to gauge the success and areas for improvement.
  • How to Achieve: Through targeted marketing, community outreach, continuous improvement of the platform, and collaboration with stakeholders.

Five-Year Impact Goals:

  • Broaden Impact: Serve over 5,000 small businesses across different regions.
  • Empowerment and Economic Growth: Contribute to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and economic growth within minority communities.
  • Develop New Tools: Introduce new AI-driven tools for personalized support.
  • Build a Thriving Community: Foster a national network of collaboration, mentorship, and support among entrepreneurs.
  • Replicate Success: Share the ETWE model with other organizations and regions for broader impact.
  • How to Achieve: Through scaling strategies, leveraging technology, expanding partnerships, and a commitment to innovation and responsiveness to community needs.

Our approach is grounded in a deep understanding of our community, innovative utilization of technology, and a collaborative ethos. By staying true to our mission and values and continually engaging with our community, we believe that ETWE can be a transformative force in the entrepreneurial landscape, making a lasting and resonant impact on the lives of women and minority small business owners.

Partnership & Award Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Truist Foundation Inspire Awards?

Applying to the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards aligns perfectly with AMDR Foundation's mission and vision to empower women and minority entrepreneurs. The partnership with Truist Foundation and MIT Solve would add immense value in the following ways:

  1. Overcoming Financial Barriers: The funding and support from the Inspire Awards would directly address the financial constraints we identified, enabling us to enhance our platform, reach more beneficiaries, and invest in critical areas.

  2. Access to Expertise and Networks: Truist Foundation and MIT Solve's extensive network of experts, mentors, and fellow innovators would provide invaluable insights, guidance, and connections to help us overcome technical and market barriers.

  3. Scaling Support: The opportunity to work with leading organizations would facilitate scaling our solution, addressing the challenges of competition, differentiation, and expansion into new communities.

  4. Visibility and Credibility: Being recognized by such prestigious entities would elevate our profile, build trust within the community, and attract additional partnerships and support.

  5. Collaborative Innovation: The shared values and commitment to innovation would foster a collaborative environment where we can learn, innovate, and grow, aligned with our long-term goals.

  6. Alignment with Mission: Truist Foundation's focus on technology-based solutions and support for small businesses resonates with our core mission, making this partnership a natural fit.

The Truist Foundation Inspire Awards presents a unique opportunity to accelerate our impact, overcome key barriers, and align with organizations that share our passion for innovation, community empowerment, and transformative change. It would be a catalyst for AMDR Foundation to reach new heights in our mission to support underserved women and minority entrepreneurs.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)

Please explain in more detail here.

Our partnership goals are centered around enhancing our financial management and technology capabilities to maximize the impact of our ETWE platform:

  1. Financial Support:

    • Investor Relations: Guidance on pitching to investors, creating compelling narratives, and navigating investment landscapes.
    • Accounting Practices: Expertise in establishing robust financial systems, controls, and budgeting to support our scaling efforts.
    • Grant Management: Assistance in identifying, applying for, and managing grants aligned with our mission.
  2. Technology Support:

    • Software Development: Collaborating with technology experts to refine, enhance, and innovate our platform, ensuring it remains cutting-edge and user-friendly.
    • Data Analysis: Building capabilities in data analysis to drive intelligent decision-making, personalized services, and impact measurement.
    • Cybersecurity: Ensuring robust security measures are in place to protect the privacy and integrity of our users' data.

By partnering with organizations, mentors, or experts in these areas, we aim to build a resilient and adaptable model that can navigate the complex financial and technological landscapes. The targeted support would enable us to overcome current barriers, make informed decisions, and continuously innovate to serve our community effectively. Our partnership goals are fundamentally about leveraging external expertise to amplify our mission and create a lasting impact.

Solution Team

  • Alicia Graham Director, AMDR Foundation Inc.
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