Empowering Female Entrepreneurs and its Impact on the Communities They Serve
“What I’ve noticed out of the women in Dayton, Ohio is: they’re resilient.”
PAMELA CONE | DIRECTOR AVIATRA ACCELERATORS
Pamela Cone has lived many lives: As a student, a mother, a military spouse, a designer, a manager, a director, a radio-show host, and now, lucky for us, as a guest on The Innopreneur Podcast. Her passion for supporting women is tangible and has led to her becoming Director of the Dayton-Metropolitan branch of Aviatra Accelerators (AA) in March of 2020. AA helps women jumpstart their businesses and maintain them through education and providing them with resources to help them be successful. With over 2500 women educated, 10,000+ jobs created, $1,000,000 in loans granted and $10,000,000+ in follow-on funding, Pamela Cone and AA are not only passionate about supporting female entrepreneurs, but successful at doing so.
When asked how she found AA, Pamela said, “I didn’t find Aviatra, Aviatra found me.” The opportunity arose out of a relationship with former employer and fellow woman in business, Robin Gentry McGee. Robin is the former founder and CEO of Functional Formularies – a company she developed her business through AA formerly and at the time, Bad Girl Ventures. In 2018, Cone asked Robin what her plans were for retirement. Robin’s desire was to support women in business. Pamela promised to provide her support wherever or whenever she might need it with doing so.
Nearly a year after leaving Functional Formularies, Robin told Pamela she was ready for her support. she began planning AA meetings with Robin to support her passion for females in entrepreneurship – NOT to look for a job. But, because of Pamela’s unwavering support for women, Robin knew she was the woman to run the Dayton branch of AA. To Pamela’s surprise, Robin was the inaugural sponsor of Dayton-Metropolitan AA and proposed to Nancy Aichholz (President of AA) to have Pamela run it.
The Dayton branch of AA was launched during March of 2020 – only a week before the pandemic hit. Despite this, Pamela and her team have had an incredible impact on the women they mentor and the communities they serve.
One specific example involves jazz vocalist and special projects manager of United Way of the Dayton Greater Area, Sandra Kitwana. According to Cone, Kitwana is an incredible jazz vocalist on a mission to serve children with behavioral issues through musical therapy. Originally, Kitwana believed her target audience was the children for which she was going to serve. Pamela helped Kitwana by changing her focus from the children to the school officials who ultimately make the decision. By simply refining her focus, Kitwana landed two contracts with the Dayton Public Schools to offer musical therapy to students. Thanks to the development programs that AA offers – Explore, Launch, and Grow – Sandra Kitwana was able to develop her non-profit and even used her pitch deck to present to investors and receive funding.
We can all learn from Pamela Cone. Her unwavering support for women has impacted her own life, the lives of female entrepreneurs and the communities in which they serve in more ways than one.
If you’re a woman in business in the Cincinnati or Dayton areas and you’re looking to be apart of Aviatra Accelerators, please visit their website and see what kind of impact you can have on your communities.