Atlanta billionaire founder of Spanx donating $5 million to help female entrepreneurs

Sara Blakely is looking to help thousands of women.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta billionaire founder of Spanx announced on Instagram that she is giving out $5 million to help female businesswomen struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sara Blakely wrote that the donation will “provide 1,000 female business owners here in the United States with $5,000 in funding each.”

“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. I know first hand what it’s like to be a small business owner,” Blakely wrote in the post.

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The grant size is symbolic for Blakely, who started her shapewear company 20 years ago with $5,000 in seed money, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The woman that are selected will also receive an all-access annual pass to MasterClass, which is an online education platform.

“My hope is that with this funding and mentorship, you’ll find support and comfort during this time," Blakely wrote.

Global Giving is accepting applications now. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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I’m announcing today I’m giving $5 million directly to female entrepreneurs to help support their businesses, families and employees. This donation will provide 1,000 female business owners here in the United States with $5,000 in funding each. My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. I know first hand what it’s like to be a small business owner. As a woman it can be lonely and scary, especially during a time like this. Small business is the backbone of our culture and I want to help. We have teamed up with @globalgiving to manage the application process. The applications to receive these donations will open Monday, April 6th and will be available for the next 5 months. All you have to do is visit @globalgiving’s website at www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund and complete an application for The Red Backpack Fund. I named it “The Red Backpack Fund” because I started @Spanx with my “lucky” red backpack from college. So each recipient will also receive a “lucky” red backpack. It’s a nod to starting small while dreaming big and is also a reminder that everything you need to succeed is right there on your back. It’s also become the official icon of the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation, and the original backpack hangs framed on the wall at Spanx Headquarters. Thanks to the @masterclass team, each woman will also receive an all-access annual pass to @MasterClass and all of their instructors, including my class on entrepreneurship. My hope is that with this funding and mentorship, you’ll find support and comfort during this time. It’s been my greater mission in life to empower and elevate women, and when you help a woman fulfill her potential… magic happens. 💪🎒Visit the link in my bio to apply. www.GlobalGiving.org/RedBackpackFund #Spanx #GivingBack #FemaleFounders #WomenSupportingWomen #SmallBusiness #TheRedBackpackFund #GiveBack #SupportSmallBusiness

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