Jackson nonprofit helps women entrepreneurs find their people

Masten is vice president of economic development for The Enterprise Group of Jackson Inc., the county’s economic development agency. She is also owner and photographer of Jackson-based Loveland Farms Photography, Loveland being her maiden name. From 2017-20 she was business services coordinator for Michigan Works! Southeast, an economic and job-development organization serving Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.

Since October, Loveland has been marketing and development director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she was youth program director for the Jackson Area Manufacturers Association, helping students explore STEM and skilled-trades careers, managing summer camps, after-school programs, community events and curriculum development. In 2013, she founded Wealth University, a remote-learning, online site coaching women on how to advance their professional careers. She led the business as CEO until 2017, when she decided to shut it down and move on to other things.

Masten and Loveland volunteer their time to Michigan Tribe.

Michigan Tribe held a fundraiser and networking event on May 4, with tickets costing $ 20- $ 25, which included food and beverages. Thanks to past sponsors, including Jackson-based TRUE Community Credit Union, Lean Rocket Lab and Loveland Farms Photography, all proceeds from the networking events have gone to the microfunds.

Every Wednesday in August, the sisters plan to host a “Prepare for Funding” virtual course, which for $ 75 will teach would-be entrepreneurs the basics of running a business.

On Sept. 5, applications open for this year’s round of grant funding, with winners announced at another fundraiser, the biggest one of the year, on Oct. 14. The Tribe plans to award at least $ 20,000 in grants to at least 10 women-owned businesses this year.

It awarded $ 7,600 to five women in 2020 and $ 13,000 to seven women last year.

Michigan Tribe funnels those grants through three funds it has established – the Women RISE Fund, the Melanated Voices Fund and the Get Effin ‘Started Fund.

The RISE Fund is for women business owners in Jackson County. The Melanated Voices Fund is for businesses owned by women of Native American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Island heritage. And the Get Effin ‘Started Fund is for women who have been thinking of starting a business but for one reason or another have yet to take the plunge.

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