Doyenne creates equitable communities where women entrepreneurs from all backgrounds thrive. Equitable communities are those that recognize women entrepreneurs’ power and invest in their potential.

Doyenne believes everyone should be their audacious selves. This means being brave, bold, empowered, accomplished and using your voice to make change happen. Women aren’t broken, but the public perception of entrepreneurship is. Women do not need to be anything besides their badass-selves to be able to build the ventures of their dreams and accomplish all their entrepreneurial goals.

Why Invest in Doyenne?

“When you help a woman, you help a woman entrepreneur, you help an entire economy” -Julann Jactzak, VP of Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

Since Doyenne’s inception in 2012, all of our programming, the Doyenne Evergreen Fund and organizational operations has been possible through gracious corporate supporters and partnerships, local foundations, city and state economic development grants, programming fees, and individual contributions. We run on a very lean budget with over 75% of our annual budget going toward supporting our entrepreneur members.

Now is the time to invest your treasure for the next phase of Doyenne. The dollars you invest in Doyenne go to work to create an impact within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which creates impact across our entire economy, and increases the services and amenities Doyenne will provide.

Dollars raised through this crowdfunding campaign will offset programming fees for entrepreneurs attending our programming and make it possible for Doyenne to expand into new communities where community leaders are requesting we bring our knowledge, programming and mindset.

Doyenne’s vision is to be in five cities outside of Wisconsin by 2022. To make this vision a reality, we are piloting programs in 2018-2019

in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

By using Milwaukee and Green Bay as test cities, we will be able to identify what is already working within these existing ecosystems, where there are gaps, and how Doyenne will fill those gaps and collaborate with local organizations. We will then be able to expand the model into other regions across the United States.

Matching Dollars

Doyenne has created matching dollar partnerships with local corporations to double every dollar you invest into Doyenne. These matching dollars will double our impact and opportunity for success. Thank you to the following corporations for making this opportunity possible

  • American Family The Institute
  • AmFam Ventures
  • Boardman & Clark LLP
  • MG &E
  • Zendesk


Founded in 2012 by Heather Wentler & Amy Gannon, Doyenne rights two wrongs. First, the founders wanted to eliminate the gender gap in the entrepreneurial community and second, they were tired of asking and hearing time and time again, “Where are all the women?” Rather than continue to complain about the inequity within the community, they decided to do something about it. Doyenne is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization run by the founders, a Board of Directors, and five volunteer committees totaling over 30 individuals.

Doyenne hosts over 20 events throughout the year, with some programming open to the public and some focusing on entrepreneur development. We have steadily seen a 20% growth in our programming attendance over the past three years. We have impacted over 100 local companies through our developmental programming, coaching and pitching events, and thousands of individuals through our systematic approach to working within an ecosystem.

Systematic Approach to Changing an Ecosystem

Entrepreneurship happens within a life. No matter their gender, age, ethnicity, or prior experiences, when individuals step into entrepreneurship they bring knowledge, skills, ideas, and a willingness to take a risk on themselves to launch their ventures.

Doyenne understands that as entrepreneurs grow their ventures, their skills, network and resources also need to grow along with them. We have developed a multi-faceted approach to meet the entrepreneurs where they are along their entrepreneurial journey and work with them to move their venture to the next level of success. These approaches are fluid and work in conjunction with each other, not in a sequence.

  • Building an army of women who have strong entrepreneurial skills
  • Shifting the community narrative
  • Investing money into ventures owned, led, and operated by women and people of color
  • Encouraging women to see themselves as investors, not just philanthropists

Doyenne builds an army of women entrepreneurs through our developmental programming. This programming takes women entrepreneurs through the process of shifting their identity from “previous life title” to entrepreneur to CEO & leader of their venture. These workshops are for entrepreneurs, co-founders, partners and collaborators to spend time thinking strategically about where the venture is heading and how to prepare for the next phase. Over 100 companies have attended these programs since they started in 2014.

Shifting the Narrative

When was the last time a woman attended a public entrepreneurial event and did not feel like one of very few in the room? For many women this is an all too common experience when attending networking events, panel discussions, and conferences. When you do not have opportunities to see people who look like you living out similar dreams, you cannot see yourself taking the first step.

  • Doyenne founders sit on over 15 organizing committees, advisory boards, and Board of Directors. In these roles, they aim to address diversity and inclusiveness at events, panels, conferences, and in media outlets.Increase Your NetworkDoyenne hosts events to expand your network reach. These public events have regional attendance for learning about our members, their ventures, and how to become an ally to our movement.

Fund the Ventures

Women-led ventures continually out-perform their male peers when it comes to return on investment. Research shows women know how to do more with less money, drive higher revenues and complete successful exits. Even with this data only 7% of all investment dollars go to teams with a minimum of one woman on the founding team. To flip that, it means 93% of all investment dollars are going to all-male led companies.

The Doyenne Evergreen Fund puts dollars into the hands of women-led and people-of-color-led ventures to provide access to increased capital. It also creates increased opportunities for follow-on dollars from outside lenders and investors. Doyenne has raised $1.2 million (to date) through local and state government agencies, foundation dollars, and private dollars. This Fund provides $5,000 grants and up to $50,000 in loans and equity investments for women and people of color running Wisconsin-based ventures.

We call this an “Evergreen Fund” because the term “evergreen” means all returns from deals will cycle back into the Fund and become available for additional ventures. Companies that receive dollars from the Doyenne Evergreen Fund also go through a 12-month Accelerator Program, which consists of Doyenne programming, coaching, and Doyenne partner programming.

Ms. "Investor"

Women have more individual wealth right now than at any other time in history, yet women still see themselves as needing permission to put their dollars to work. Only 8% of all Venture Capital firms in the US have female partners, and the numbers are only slightly higher for the number of women angel investors. Yet, on average, women investors make better deals and yield higher returns on their investments. So then why aren’t more women investing their dollars?! Simple answer, it’s {still} a man’s world. Women have to start taking steps to leverage their dollars to create a greater impact for our future women investors.

Traditionally women are viewed as the caretakers who make sure the family is being fiscally responsible, while men are seen as the breadwinners and financial decision makers in many households. This stereotype is simply not true anymore. Doyenne is creating avenues for women to understand who qualifies to be an investor, how to invest in the entrepreneurial ecosystems and how to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors to get in on portfolio deals.

Membership Model

Doyenne offers three types of membership

  • Woman Entrepreneur rate $150/yr
  • Community Member (Men & Women) rate $250/yr
  • Woman Student (K-12, post-secondary education) rate $50/yr

Doyenne has over 200 individuals who are members of the organization. Our membership is comprised of 75% women entrepreneurs and 25% Community Members & Students. Doyenne’s primary focus is to support women entrepreneurs and their ventures. Our membership reflects this statement.

Individuals receive benefits within the organization that are only accessible through membership.

  • Workshops identified as Developmental Programming
  • Monthly Featured Entrepreneur
    • Blog post about an entrepreneur and their entrepreneurial journey on Doyenne website
    • Opportunity to speak at locally organized 1 Million Cups event
    • Speak at a Doyenne Connect Event
  • Funding through the Doyenne Evergreen Fund
  • Access to our network of individuals and resources
  • Promotion of venture and services offered
  • Visibility through Doyenne public events and partnered programming

Be Audacious!

Join our Movement and invest in Doyenne