New Luxury Brand Launches Grant Program in Support of Female Entrepreneurs

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Silver & Riley’s #Buy1Give5 gives back 5% of all purchases to help women owned  businesses grow and scale their startups

Entrepreneur Meagan Ward carries the Silver & Riley Convertible Executive Bag in Burgundy. Photo by I Am Charlie G.

This month, Silver & Riley, a Travel and Fashion Accessories brand known for their stylish, functional and affordably priced Made In Italy luxury leather goods, is awarding it’s first two grants in support of women owned-run businesses. Grants are made possible by the brand’s “Buy 1, Give 5” program, which was incepted since the brand’s October 2019 launch. Five percent of all sales go towards the program. Funds evenly split between supporting female entrepreneurship in the United States (Silver & Riley Female Entrepreneurship Grant) and working with non-profit partners in emerging economies to support business literacy and entrepreneurship for women.

Founder Lola Banjo was inspired by her late mother and her own ten year journey to launching Silver & Riley, to build an avenue to help other women entrepreneurs lessen the burden that a lack of or limited capital can have. Watching her mother’s big impact on her community in Lagos, Nigeria by helping several women small business owners grow their businesses with amounts that seem small - $100 here, $200 there, influenced her a great deal. What she learned is, for a business that is just launching or attempting to get off the ground, no amount is too small. Financial burdens often create a mental barrier that could prevent a newly formed business from thriving and in turn affects families and communities, ultimately continuing the cycle of economic depression.

Founder Lola Banjo carrying the Golden Hour Multi Way Bag in a special hand painted bordeaux version

By focusing on small businesses, Silver & Riley is addressing a traditionally underserved yet significant portion of the entrepreneurship movement. Traditional funding sources, such as venture capital or angel investors, typically focus on technology based startups that require major capital investments and have multi-million dollar valuations. Even when businesses do seek traditional funding sources, women owned businesses receive significantly less funding than their male counterparts. For their part, the introduction of microfinancing (credit and loans) had a promising start, but have carried a number of significant disadvantages including inflated interest rates and steep default penalties. Especially in emerging economies, these funding vehicles have struggled with a less than favorable reputation as a poster child for exploitation of the economically disadvantaged.

Silver & Riley Female Entrepreneurship Grants are capital infusions that do not need to be paid back, and are not industry constrained. Recipients are free to use their grant as they see fit for their business. The grants start from $1,000 USD and will grow as the program grows.

Every customer purchase supports the program as 5% of all purchases go into the fund.

Shoppers receive 10% off with Silver & Riley newsletter sign-ups, free shipping on orders of $150 or more. The current collection ranges from $65 to $595.

Fashion Influencer Claire Sulmers Carries The Convertible Executive in Olive Green

From Top to Bottom: Convertible Executive Bag in Burgundy as a Backpack, $595. Cylinder Bucket Bag in Eggplant, $295. Carryall Duffle Bag in noir $545

Please visit the link found here for additional photos and product shots.

Grant Details

To kick-off the program the first grant winners will be chosen and announced at the end of the month. Candidates are invited to submit their application to be considered by March 20th, 2020 via:

Beyond March, grant applications will be accepted throughout the year and grantees will be chosen on a quarterly basis.

About Silver & Riley,

Ten years of planning, research and development birthed a new line of classic and timeless luxury goods cut from the best quality leather available. Made in Italy, the Silver & Riley collections feature premium full grain leather, designed to develop a rich patina overtime. The line includes stylish and functional leather goods for men and women, for work, travel and everyday use.

Lola Banjo, Founder and Chief Designer, incorporated several years of traveling for business as a Strategist, her love for fashion, her background in engineering, innovation & design to create functional products that are also incredibly stylish. Each product is created with maximum utility in mind and thoughtfully crafted to make the user’s life easier. The fashion bags can be worn in multiple ways; the belt bag can be worn as a clutch. The Executive Convertible Handbag can be worn four ways.

Get to know the brand. Visit follow @Silverandriley on all social media platforms.

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