FAQ – Founders Fund

What is the Founders Fund?

Founders Fund is a 6 month business accelerator, community and fund for women and non binary identifying founders that don’t fit into the traditional CEO mould and want to accelerate their business and leadership growth.

We combine traditional business knowledge (in marketing, sales, operations and legal) with authentic, empathetic delivery (no boring business jargon here!) that allows you to continue to thrive authentically, while gaining the knowledge you need for you and your business to grow and succeed.


The time has come for unconventional leaders to step into the spotlight and show the world the strength that comes with diversity, innovation and resiliency.

 

How does it work?

Founders Fund is comprised of three major parts:

Programming (Education)

Membership includes 6 months of structured programming with 12 months of content and support from our team and mentor community

Programming is catered specifically to your stage of growth covering core topics like: marketing, operations, finance and legal.

In addition, members will have supplementary programming for founders for every growth stage that includes:

  • Diversity & Inclusion training
  • Mental health for entrepreneurs
  • Money mindset
  • Learning from failure
  • Preparing for investment & funding

Funding

  • Estimated over $80k in available funding
  • Easy to apply to (takes under 1 hour)
  • Support sessions to prepare you to apply with confidence
  • Applications scored by a selection committee that reflects member demographics to minimize unconscious bias

Community

  • Custom online portal including easy booking for sessions, searchable directory, easy community forums and connections
  • Custom app to attend and watch recorded sessions
  • ‘Bad for Business’ podcast featuring members of the community and focusing on underrepresented women and non binary founders disrupting traditional industries

What kind of programming will be available to members?

Membership includes 6 months of structured programming with 12 months of content and support from our team and mentor community

Programming is catered specifically to your stage of growth covering core topics like: marketing, operations, finance and legal.

In addition, members will have supplementary programming for founders for every growth stage that includes:

  • Diversity & Inclusion training
  • Mental health for entrepreneurs
  • Money mindset
  • Learning from failure
  • Preparing for investment & funding 

When will the program begin?

Programming will begin in January 2021 (running for 6 months until June, with access to recorded resourced and mentor support for 12 months), funding applications will open in April, and finalists will receive funding in summer 2021.

Where does the money come from?

We work with values aligned funders and corporate sponsors to power our programming, with money for our primary funding program coming from a portion of our membership fees ($125). That means you and your fellow members are coming together to support one another, and create space and opportunity for women-identifying entrepreneurs to thrive.

Why isn’t the Founders Fund a nonprofit?

We’re a social enterprise. We believe that the future of commerce is conscious and that profit supports the acceleration of purpose.'

We are in the middle of the most significant evolution in business in history. Business owners no longer have to choose between only doing good (like a traditional not for profit) or only advancing profit (like a traditional for profit), it is now becoming standard practice to do both, which means we can choose work that serves the greater good while growing our profits in an intentional, sustainable way. As champions for businesses doing good (and using profits to advance the lives of the business leaders, their families, their teams), we have structured Founders Fund in a way that will advance our profits while advancing our purpose.

Where does my membership fee go?

$125 of your membership fee goes directly to a pool of zero-equity, non-repayable funding, with the remainder contributing to operating and programming costs.

Can I get a tax receipt for my membership fee?

We can’t offer tax receipts. However, since your membership to the Founders Fund is an investment in the growth of your business, this is a tax deductible expense (not sure what else is? Don't worry, we cover that in programming 🙃

Do you have flexible pricing?

Yes!

If the membership fee is more than you can afford at one time, simply choose the partial.ly option when checking out and you can split your payment into four instalments.

We also have a limited number of discounted memberships available for those whose businesses would benefit from our accelerator programming but for whom the membership fee is a barrier — if this sounds like you, reach out to our team at hello@foundersfund.ca.

Am I eligible to receive funding?

To be eligible for funding, your business must:

  • be at least 50% woman- identified and/or non-binary-owned

    Yeah, it's that simple.

Can I gift someone else a membership?

Yes! A Founders Fund membership makes a great gift for the ambitious entrepreneur in your life. It’s also a great way to show support for women-identifying entrepreneurs as an ally. If you’d like to gift someone a membership, simply add the recipient’s contact info when you make your purchase.

What does 'barrier free funding' mean?

It means that we remove as many barriers as possible keeping you from the fund you need to grow your business. That includes:

- No repayment on funding

- No equity taken of your company

- Application process with simple (2-6) questions

- Support sessions to help you feel confident about your application

- Language support for English as a second language applicants

- Selection committee (who evaluate applications) that reflects the cultural and ethnic make up of applicant pool

- Subconcious bias training for selection committee

 

I’m not based in Canada. Can I become a member?

Yes! Our resources and community are digital and available worldwide, so we welcome international members. Just a note, our funding is in Canadian currency 😉

My business has generated more than the maximum revenue limit for funding eligibility. Should I become a member?

Yes! If your business has generated more than $1 million in revenue, you won’t be eligible to apply for our funding program, but you’ll still have access to all Founders Fund accelerator programming, events and digital resources. Plus, you’ll be paying your success forward by contributing your membership fee to the Founders Fund. You can also pay it forward by sponsoring another entrepreneur’s membership fee.

Or, if you’re serious about supporting women-identifying entrepreneurs, consider becoming a funder of the Founders Fund — email us at foundersfund@teasetea.com to learn about how to get involved and what’s in it for you.

My business is just starting up — or just an idea. Should I become a member? 

Absolutely! Our programming offers three levels of growth stage specific training, including pre-launch and start ups!

I run a non-profit. Should I become a member?

Although You won’t be eligible to apply for funding through the Founders Fund, but our programming would still provide you with knowledge-sharing, mentorship and access to resources that will help you grow your organization.

My company or organization would like to buy bulk memberships. Is this possible? Who can I speak to about it?

Of course! We work with values-aligned companies and organizations to provide memberships to their communities who would benefit from our programming. If you’re interested, you can reach out to us at hello@foundersfund.ca.

I love what you’re doing. How can I support the Founders Fund?

Thank you! We’d love for you to share our story with all your entrepreneur (and intrapreneur!) friends. We’re also always looking for values-aligned people and companies to partner with — if you’d like to get involved, send us an email at hello@foundersfund.ca. 

Founders Fund is a community and growth tool for founders that don’t fit the traditional mould.

Join hundreds of women identifying founders, just like you, who have grown their business and leadership through our guided online accelerator program that provides support to founders from unconventional paths, diverse life experiences, and innovative approaches to business.