Female entrepreneurship organization Doyenne Group to launch Milwaukee chapter

Raising funds to expand to Milwaukee this year, Green Bay in 2019

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:21 pm

Doyenne Group, a Madison-based nonprofit organization focused on helping women entrepreneurs, plans to bring its programming to Milwaukee with the launch of a new chapter.

Doyenne launched a crowdfunding campaign this week with the goal of raising $50,000 to help launch pilot chapters in Milwaukee this year and Green Bay in 2019. The funding will also help offset the cost of its programming for members.

The Madison-based organization has already seen interest among Milwaukee female entrepreneurs, who represent about 15 percent of Doyenne’s total membership.

“Several members have shared that Doyenne programming really helped them grow and expand their businesses,” said Heather Wentler, co-founder and executive director of Doyenne. “That’s why we know it’s important to continue to keep Doyenne programming affordable, and to expand Doyenne to other cities.”

Doyenne, which was founded in 2012, has about 150 members. This year, it launched a 12-month accelerator program for female entrepreneurs in Madison.

Amy Gannon, a co-founder of Doyenne and its director of entrepreneur development, stressed the need to create a better entrepreneurial ecosystem by helping women access capital more easily to grow their businesses.

“Women do more with less; they are capital-efficient,” she said. “Despite this research, 80 percent of venture capital dollars go to all-male teams, teams that don’t have a single woman involved. Only 2 percent of that venture capital goes to all-female teams. That’s why consciously funding women’s ventures is so important.”

The organization’s crowdfunding campaign runs through May 12. The campaign is being run through iFundWomen, a funding platform exclusively for female entrepreneurs that was founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna Karen Cahn.

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