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Why Visionary Women Built An Intergenerational Community Around Impact And Mentorship

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Why Visionary Women Built An Intergenerational Community Around Impact And Mentorship

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Beverly Hills mayor, Lilli Bosse and best-selling author, Angella Nazarian founded Visionary Women in 2014 to inspire, empower, and mentor women to become leaders in their fields and communities. The non-profit organization has created a platform for women to connect, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue.

“Visionary Women started because Angela and I have a passion for inspiring women. In my field of politics and I’m surrounded by men. Where I feel the most motivated is by other women whom I can learn from, be inspired by, and that are in different fields doing incredible things. We wanted to create something where we can support initiatives for women and girls while creating an amazing community for women,” said Bosse. “I just felt that this is something that women are longing for a sense of connection, a sense of being inspired by one another and lifting each other up. From my perspective, I had written a couple of books on women’s leadership, and during our conversation, we discussed how important it is for us to be lifelong learners and to learn from the example of other people. We thought how exciting it would be to gather top thought leaders from around the world to come and speak to our community,” added Nazarian.

As part of its programming, Visionary Women hosts various events throughout the year, including panel discussions, speaker series, and networking opportunities, featuring prominent female leaders from various fields such as business, entertainment, politics, and academia. Notable speakers who have participated in Visionary Women events include Gloria Steinem, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Dr. Jill Biden. The organization also partners with other non-profit organizations to support women’s causes, such as Girls Inc. and the Malala Fund.

One of the unique attributes of Visionary Women is how the organization is able to foster intergenerational connections with its members. Their members range from Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X to Baby Boomers. Visionary Women offers mentorship programs for young women and provides scholarships to support women’s education and leadership development. The mentorship program pairs established female leaders with young women who are building their careers. The mentor and mentee relationship is designed to be mutually beneficial where both individuals can learn and grow from each other.

Visionary Women’s latest event over International Women’s Day selected Maria Shriver, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, and Christina Schwarzenegger together as the 2023 Changemaker of the Year for their ongoing philanthropy and leadership. In partnership with the Hostetler/Wrigley Foundation, the event also presented the 2023 Visionary Award for Economic Empowerment to Omi Bell, Founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures, a social enterprise dedicated to creating access to capital for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs; and the 2023 Rising Visionary Award to Briana (Bri) Franklin, Co-Founder, President & CEO of The Prosp(a)rity Project, a nonprofit with a mission of helping Black women overcome financial disparity while resolving the student debt crisis.

“Access plays a huge role in a founder’s capability to succeed- not only access to capital but access to a connected network of people, access to training, mentoring, technical support, etc. Female founders, particularly black female founders, receive a tiny fraction of this capital and access, so our hope in creating the prize was to try and address this inequity. Omi and Black Girl Ventures stood out because they are having a real, tangible impact on women’s economic development, they have the hard data to prove their successes, and most importantly to the Hosteler/Wrigley Foundation- Omi has proven her ability to grow the organization and is focused on moving towards self-sustainability.” Sue Hostetler, President and Co-founder of Hostetler/Wrigley Foundation. “We received over 100 applications from truly inspiring women leading a broad range of programs addressing inequities in access and other barriers to women’s economic success. Our three winners this year were all visionary and innovative founders. Omi Bell, Rev. Michelle Anne Simmons and Briana Franklin have all created programs with proven impact in advancing women’s economic empowerment in the U.S., and we are honored to support their work.” added Laura Fox, President of Fox Foundation, Visionary Women Board Member and Grants Committee Chair.

Since its founding, Visionary Women has granted almost $2.5M to programs and initiatives advancing the status of women and girls. Grantees are organizations working in the Los Angeles area or developing countries, and primarily focused on education, housing and homelessness, the arts, and human rights.



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