Prosper Institute for women entrepreneurs rebranding to ‘Brazen’

Prosper Institute, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that provides women entrepreneurs with mentorship programs, announced Tuesday that it has rebranded to a new name: Brazen.

Brazen is one of two divisions that make up Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, an organization that supports women-led businesses. The other division is the for-profit PWE Startup Accelerator, which provides capital for such businesses. The accelerator will retain the Prosper name.

The rebranding of the name to Brazen reflects the spirit of the organization, which is about encouraging women entrepreneurs to be bolder and “stop apologizing” for running their companies the way they want to, Prosper founder and CEO Jennifer Ehlen said in a written statement. 

Female entrepreneurs are able to sign up to meet Brazen staff to brainstorm ideas and can meet for feedback sessions with expert mentors.

Companies that have been accepted into the accelerator program receive investment of $50,000 for an equity stake, with an opportunity for another $100,000 in follow-on funding. 

The need for an organization like Brazen “has never been stronger,” the nonprofit said in the statement, citing studies that showed that while nearly 40 percent of entrepreneurs were women, less than 2 percent of women-led businesses reach or exceed $1 million in annual revenue. Brazen will launch a new membership platform in May that will include the currently running peer-advisory group program and add more online content, events and one-on-one mentoring, according to the statement.

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