“A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing…” – Maya Angelou
To provide loans to Black women-owned
small businesses who share Women Lift values and whose viability is
challenged by institutional and/or societal barriers, or by natural
While, in recent years, Black women across the U.S. are starting businesses at six times the national average, they continue to face significant cultural and institutional barriers as entrepreneurs.
- Black women have higher shares of business ownership than Black men, but Black women founders receive less than one percent of venture capital deals and lower loan amounts at higher interest rates than other entrepreneurs.
- Among all businesses nationally, those owned by Black women have average sales of $28,000 per business compared to $768,000 for those owned by white men.
- Barriers for women starting and maintaining a successful business include lack of startup capital, resources, and loans, as well as gender discrimination within male dominated sectors.
To address these barriers, the Women Lift Project provides flexible, low interest loans to help Black women entrepreneurs achieve personal and professional dreams. Started privately in 2020 by Carol E. Anderson and Archer H. Christian to support Black women small business owners in southeast Michigan facing deeper debilitating debt or closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Women Lift now has further reach and impact as a project of Rebellious Dreamers. Women Lift is a community and a pathway for creative, resourceful, and committed Black women small business owners to take the next step – from faltering or just surviving to thriving.
- We are committed to co-creating arrangements and terms that help to uplift these small businesses.
- We are committed to holding the owners we support with deep respect.
- We are committed to an ongoing relationship with the owners we support, in order to continue to encourage and champion them.
Please review the following criteria to determine your eligibility to apply. If eligible, we invite you to move forward with your application.
- At least 51% owned by a Black woman or women, or a Black person/people who identifies/identify as a woman/women
- Registered and actively operating in Michigan for at least 1 year
- In danger of losing viability due to extenuating circumstances (to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
- Had at least 1 employee/contractor before the current state of distress and seeks to maintain or grow staffing
- Willing to receive guidance/counseling from the Advisory Board on how to apply the funds and open to learning about and gaining financial management skills
- Has a business bank account and can show at least 3 months of statements
- Agrees for Women Lift to run a credit check
- Willing to take out an insurance policy in the amount of the loan, payable to Rebellious Dreamers, Inc
Bags to Butterflies is a Detroit-based social enterprise that reaches out to women re-entering the community from prison. Its primary mission is to provide formerly incarcerated women with transitional employment and training opportunities to help reduce and or eliminate their recidivism.
Bags to Butterflies is channeling the unrealized expectations of formerly incarcerated women into expected accomplishments. For more information, please visit https://www.bagstobutterflies.com/
The mission of Birth Detroit is to midwife safe,quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Birth Detroit is led by Black women and shaped by community voices, with the goal of improving maternal and infant health outcomes in our communities. Birth Detroit pairs evidence-based models with a foundation made up of equal parts community energy and determination to be leaders in our own care. We dream of a world where birth is safe, sacred, loving and celebrated for everyone.
For more information, please visit
Healthyself, Inc. is a Detroit-based organization
whose Mission to educate the community about the power and benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Healthyselfpromotes nutrition science education through research-based programs. The organization’s purpose is to improve health and give people the tools and strategies they need to heal and achieve optimal wellness. To learn more, please visit https://healthyselfdetroit.org/about
Candye Hinton of Hinton Real Estate Group, Inc., brings extensive knowledge and experience of the Real Estate market, honesty, integrity and commitment. Those three main characteristics that have helped Candye build a business of repeat clients and referrals. Hinton Real Estate group is an original Women Lift recipient prior to joining the Advisory Board.
Saudia Major, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System. She works in the Home Based Primary Care program, providing behavioral care to chronically ill Veterans, with complex disease and psychosocial burdens, in their homes. She is also a Clinical Instructor with the University of Michigan School of Medicine Dept. of Psychiatry, and in this role, she helps train future Psychologists…doctoral students completing their internships. Dr. Major earned her bachelor’s degree (Magna Cum Laude) and doctorate degree in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, and completed her internship and residency at Florida State Hospital, a forensic psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee, FL.
Michelle Buggs is currently working on a Masters Degree in dietetics at Eastern Michigan University to to become a Registered Dietitian. Her career as a former fitness center owner and retired Professional National Figure Competitor led her to studying about food and nutrition to fuel the mind and body. Michelle has a solid background in Communications, Marketing, Advertising, and Networking through her first Bachelors Degree and work for Cumulus and Clear Channel Radio Stations. As a Black LGBTQ+ woman starting a second career, she has developed a strength, wisdom, comfortability, and passion to help others move through their journey.. You only have one life…How are you livin’ it?
Kimberly Thornton, also known as Kimmie is the proud owner of Salon Kimistry located in Belleville, MI. She has been a dedicated entrepreneur in the beauty industry for over 22 years and it has been so satisfying! Her passion for hair and helping people has allowed her to walk in her purpose as an artist and a mentor. Kim cherishes and welcomes the opportunity to help others. “WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS,” by Robert Ingersoll, is a favorite quote. In her spare time, she loves to dance, enjoys taking naps and eating Key Lime Pie.