Bad Girl Ventures
has been supporting our region's female entrepreneurs for almost five years now and, with a constantly expanding alumni and mentor network, is more popular than ever. Last year, the organization welcomed a class of 45, their largest class yet.
With a growing number of applicants entering the program, the BGV team has decided to cater their program to women at every single stage of business development — from expanding on a simple idea to planning an exit strategy — by implementing a brand new curriculum. The driving force behind BGV's refreshed approach is Rani Boukerrou, whose primary focus is maintaining BGV's involvement with the community.
"Our course was one size fits all," says Corey Drushal, executive director of BGV. "It was targeted toward just launching companies, not exactly to the community. (Rani) set out to solve that."
The committee in charge of the new curriculum settled on a three-phase approach: explore, launch and develop.
Phase 1 of BGV's new curriculum is meant for the entrepreneur who is looking to transform an idea into a business plan. Anyone can sign up for the 9 week course and choose to stay on with BGV for the next phase or go on their merry way.
The second phase, described as the launch phase, is similar to the course BGV has offered for the past five years. This 10-week course is targeted to those who have already established a business plan, have launched in the last year and are looking for financing. BGV is doing away with their "finalists" model, instead offering the opportunity for funding to any company that is accepted into the course.
"This opens up the opportunity for us to fund more women," Drushal says.
Phase 3 of the new curriculum is workshop-based. Participants can choose different workshops on an a la carte basis based on their needs. This phase hopes to attract companies looking to expand and grow beyond the startup phase. BGV alumni will be actively involved in this phase, offering advice on everything from advanced HR to marketing to exit strategy.
"This is a really big undertaking," Drushal says. "But we are so excited to harness the energy (from our alumni) and truly engage the community."
All courses will be held at HCDC, Inc.
in Norwood even after BGV's new building in Covington opens in April.
"It's important to us to still be a part of Cincinnati, even after we move into the Covington space," Drushal says.