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InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

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Created on February 18, 2015

InnovateHER is a cross-cutting women's business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

We know that our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Most children live in households where all parents work. And as our population ages, families are increasingly caring for aging parents while balancing the needs of work and home. As demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases. This Challenge will provide that platform.

Challenge Criteria

InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).

Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet other requirements as defined in the Competition Rules

How to Participate

InnovateHER’s first round goes live March 1st. Throughout the month of March, universities, accelerators, resource partners and other organizations will host local competitions. A month after going live, each host will select and submit one local winner to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who will then identify no more than 10 finalists. Finalists will make a live pitch to a panel of expert judges during National Small Business Week, May 4 – 8, 2015, in Washington, D.C. where they will compete for top three awards and prize money totaling $30,000.

Finalists will be responsible for covering their own travel costs to DC for the national competition. 

View the Competition Rules

Interested in Hosting a Local Competition?

All groups interested in hosting a local competition in connection with InnovateHER must submit a request to SBA no later than February 27, 2015 at Please include the name of your organization, location, address, email address, POC for the competition, and website (if applicable).

SBA will evaluate each request and will follow up with your organization to confirm your selection as a host.  SBA will post the names of all local hosts on a rolling basis as their participation is confirmed.

Please be advised that organizations that do not receive written confirmation from SBA will not be authorized to host a competition in connection with this Challenge.

More Questions?