New Traverse City-based foundation awards $120K in inaugural grantmaking round

What’s happening: The Boundless Futures Foundation, a private foundation launched in Traverse City this past September 2023, has announced the recipients of its first grantmaking round. Three female entrepreneurs make up the inaugural cohort of EmpowHer grant recipients, and two nonprofits receive the first Her Village grants.

Who they are: The Boundless Futures Foundation was founded by the wife-and-husband team of Soon and McKeel Hagerty, a private foundation launched with the mission to help level the funding playing field for female entrepreneurs. EmpowHer grants are intended for female entrepreneurs in the early startup stage; Her Village grants support like-minded nonprofits.

On the business side: Receiving a $20,000 EmpowHer grant is Tina Arroyo, a Detroit-based optician and founder of the community-minded optical boutique Spectacle Society. Rhode Island-based Stephanie Blanchard is receiving a $15,000 EmpowHer grant to support the growth of her Artisan Joy, an online and print magazine celebrating creative entrepreneurs. And Tatiana Freeman is receiving a $25,000 EmpowHer grant for Nosh Posh, a Minnesota-based healthy food subscription box service that features female- and BIPOC-owned companies.

For the nonprofits: The Traverse City-based economic development organization and nonprofit Traverse Connect is receiving a $30,000 Her Village grant. The award will support a scholarship program for women enrolled in the organization’s professional development programs. And the Center for Women and Enterprise is receiving $30,000 toward their female entrepreneurship programming in New England.

What they’re saying: "We are truly inspired by the hundreds of grant applications we received and encouraged by the inspirational ventures that these female founders are championing. As an entrepreneur myself, it is rewarding to highlight innovative solutions and business models that include sustainable practices, ethical sourcing or unique approaches to solving social issues," says Soon Hagerty. "Boundless Futures Foundation believes that investing in individuals and nonprofit organizations will not only benefit the recipients directly but also contribute to a ripple effect of positive impact throughout society."

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.