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Empower Change MI, a partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and Michigan Women Forward, will offer a continuum of programs and services to women (and a few good men) wishing to start or grow Social Venture Enterprises. 

A social venture enterprise:

  • fundamentally exists to solve a real community problem
  • must focus on a product or service people will pay for
  • must follow “No Margin, No Mission,” that is, while some profits may be sacrificed to serve the mission, the business must ultimately be sustainable


  • Submit a two (2) page concept paper by 12:01 AM Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Must be 51% Women owned and/or operated
  • Open to all State of Michigan businesses
  • Applicant demonstrates significant role in conception of venture
  • Candidate holds key management position and is actively involved in day to day operation of business
  • Agree to participate with Michigan Women Forward for marketing purposes
  • Previous Michigan Women Forward Empower Change MI Finalists are not eligible to apply in same track as previous year
  • Applicant permitted one submission in a single (1) track and cannot apply with multiple businesses
  • Employees of Ford Motor Company, Inc. and Michigan Women Forward entities’ parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising, promotion and Internet agencies, and such employees’ immediate family (i.e., parents, children, siblings, spouse) and household members, are not eligible.
  • Concept papers are a maximum of 2 pages.  All concept papers that exceed 2 pages will not be submitted for review. 
  • Concept papers must include the segments listed in the specific track's concept paper template that can be found here. These details can also be found at under the resources tab.
All applicants will need to identify where they fall in the three tracks below:

Ideation Track Profile: Do you have an idea that could change your community and the world?

Launch Track Profile: Have you started an organization or business that will change your community, or even the world? Do you have proof it is a viable business idea and now you want to launch this company?

Growth Track Profile: A business that has the potential to scale significantly in size and revenue.  A growth business can be attractive to outside investors. Examples of these are: 1) a technology-based startup that has the potential to be acquired or go public; 2) a retail or food establishment that can expand to multiple locations to become a chain or franchise; 3) a manufacturing business that has the capacity to grow its number of employees.


You may start your application by registering for a FluidReview account and select one of the following categories based on your business location and type. If you already have an existing account with MWF, you must log in and click on "Create New submission" and select a track based on your business's profile.
  • 2018-2019 Empower Change MI Ideation Track
  • 2018-2019 Empower Change MI Launch Track
  • 2018-2019 Empower Change MI Growth Track

MWF has the right to disqualify any applicant and/or reject what they believe are not in compliance with the contest rules, any applicant that does not meet the eligibility requirements as set forth under “contest rules and eligibility” and/or any entry that violates local, state or national laws and/or appears to be unethical in nature.

Visit for more information on the concept paper format and the scoring system.
Contact the MWF Entrepreneurial Initiative Team if you have any questions at 313-962-1920.