Through the Alibaba.com Grants Program, U.S. online entrepreneurs are receiving a total of $500,000 in grants to help bring their innovative product ideas to market. Alibaba.com is partnering with Hello Alice, a resource platform that helps U.S. women, men, people of color, veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and all entrepreneurs that aspire to make a change through every step of the entrepreneurial journey. More than 65% of the 12,000+ applicants are female, and of the 50 recipients, more than 35 are women.
These numbers reflect a rise in female entrepreneurship nationally. According to the Census Bureau's Annual Business Survey, approximately 20% of all businesses that employed people in the United States were women-owned in 2017. That number has been steadily increasing year over year, with more than 30% of small businesses today being women-owned. That's 11.6 million firms accounting for nearly US $2 trillion in revenue with 9 million employees.
Below are a few examples of women who are using the Alibaba Grants Program to grow their businesses in the U.S. and make a positive social impact.
Courtney Stewart (Atlanta, GA), founder of LipRevolt, is using her brand to promote social activism, change the world through beauty, and cater to women who are willing to fight for what they believe in — while speaking up for those who can't. LipRevolt specializes in using lipstick as a social fundraising platform to raise funds for charities and non-profits, and organizations that support social causes.
Cecile Blancarte's (San Luis Obispo, CA) fashion brand Blancarte is a modern Latinx brand that elevates the Latinx image through sleek designs and fashion accessories. Blancarte has a passion for elevating female entrepreneurs in the Latinx community and hopes her brand will help highlight Latinx empowerment and elegance.
Hannah Ulbrich (Denver, CO) of Copper Door Coffee Roasters overcame a difficult childhood to become the only 100% female-owned coffee roaster in Denver. Her company works to supply products for those in need. She says “We want to help women around the world come out of poverty and want women — who commonly do a lot of grocery shopping — to see themselves represented in the brands they buy."