Earn Your Freedom ignites financial literacy education by leveraging gamification through its innovative video game Money Quest.

Earn Your Freedom (EYF) is excited to announce the launch of its first crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with Impact Hub Houston, to make learning about personal finance and economics fun and accessible!

Aimed at raising funds and awareness for financial literacy education, the campaign highlights the founders’ mission to create the financial education program they wish they’d had, to help the next generation avoid the financial pitfalls they encountered.

EYF is more than a company, it’s a personal mission born out of our passion for promoting financial freedom and security. It all began with our founder, Grant, looking to solve his own financial struggles. Buried in student loans, drowning in credit card debt, and living paycheck to paycheck, just like 70% of Americans, he understood the urgent need for change.

Co-founder Keely’s journey towards financial literacy was sparked by a tragedy, followed by costly errors. After the sudden loss of her mother and stepfather, she received a life insurance payout. However, being just 17 and unaware of the true value of money or where to best allocate it, she made ill-advised investment decisions that wiped out any financial cushion she might have had.

Grant’s and Keely’s personal experiences have inspired them to make a real difference by creating an engaging and accessible financial learning platform through Money Quest, which immerses players in real-life financial scenarios, teaching critical skills and knowledge necessary for financial empowerment. It’s built on three pillars:

  • Financial literacy education through gaming.
  • Empowering individuals through knowledge and creativity.
  • Building partnerships for a lasting community impact.

EYF believes everyone should have the right to gain the knowledge and skills for sound financial decision-making. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to support their campaign to bring Money Quest to more youth, especially those facing challenging educational and financial circumstances in historically disadvantaged communities. EYF’s ultimate goal: To help people break out of the cycle of financial struggle, and forge a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

“I was once told that if you want to make a million dollars, then you need to help a million people. As I continued to think about this I tried solving the problem of my own lack of financial education. The deeper I got into solving this problem the more I realized all of my friends and family were financially illiterate as well as most of our country. The new question of “What would a financially literate society look like?” came up. I don’t know the answer, but I would like to find it and help solve this problem for all 331.9 million Americans.”
-Grant Watkins Co-Founder & CEO

“We envision a society where financial literacy is accessible to all, and where individuals are enabled with the tools to take control of their financial futures. Growing up, I never received a financial education, and have first-hand made costly mistakes that, if different, could have changed the trajectory of my life. I want to be sure no one has to suffer the same mistakes I did, and through gamification, we can make learning engaging and effective. We are bridging the gap between education and application, stepping in before the real-world consequences take place.”
-Keely McEnery Earn Your Freedom Co-Founder and COO

The Greater Houston region is home to one of the nation’s most entrepreneurial and diverse communities. This campaign seeks to reach individuals from all walks of life, equipping them with the tools necessary for financial success and stability. For more information on the campaign, and to partner on better outcomes for our region’s young people, please reach out to Grant Watkins at [email protected].

About Earn Your Freedom (EYF): EYF is a startup that combines gaming with financial education. Its mission is to enable individuals with the knowledge and skills needed for financial independence. Through its engaging and innovative game Money Quest, EYF is breaking the mold and setting a new standard for financial education.

Happy PRIDE! We Stand By the LGBTQ+ Community

Happy PRIDE! We Stand By the LGBTQ+ Community

Dear Impact Hub Houston Community,

As we kick off the vibrant month of Pride, I want to take a moment to express our unwavering support for the LGBTQ+ community. At Impact Hub Houston, we firmly believe in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as fundamental values that shape our work. We are committed to fostering an environment where all individuals can thrive, inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

Pride Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate the rich diversity within our community, to honor the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ movement, and to reflect upon the ongoing work that still needs to be done to achieve full equality and acceptance for all. While the Public Religion Research Institute reports that nearly eight in ten Americans favor laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year. The ACLU is currently tracking 491 in the U.S. — 53 in Texas — alone. Sadly, a small minority of extremist groups continue to fight against the inclusion and well-being of LGBTQ+ people.

We understand that the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is ongoing, and that discrimination, hate crimes, and systemic barriers persist. We must do more, and do better. As an organization dedicated to supporting solutions and startups for positive social and environmental impact, we recognize the profound importance of being an ally to people from marginalized communities. Their diverse perspectives and experiences are essential for sparking creativity, driving innovation, and developing sustainable solutions to the complex challenges we all face. By embracing the LGBTQ+ community, we not only honor their tremendous contributions and talents, but we also enrich our Greater Houston community by fostering a culture of acceptance, respect, and empathy for all.

As the Human Rights Campaign says: Every person has their own journey in understanding what it means to support LGBTQ+ people, whether you’re LGBTQ+ or not. We encourage you to visit their “Being an LGBTQ+ Ally” guide to help you begin that journey: https://reports.hrc.org/being-an-lgbtq-ally

Being an ally means actively listening, learning, and advocating for the rights and well-being of others. It means creating safe spaces where individuals can bring their whole selves to the table, free from discrimination, fear, or prejudice. We are committed to using our platform to raise awareness, challenge bias, and advocate for policies and practices that promote equality and inclusion. We will work non-stop to inspire, connect, and empower all individuals, inclusive of their ethnicity, culture, age, ability, whom they love, and how they express themselves.

This Pride Month, let us come together as a community, united in our dedication to justice and equality. Let us celebrate the victories achieved, amplify the voices that have been silenced or suppressed, and recommit ourselves to the work ahead. Together, we can create a future where everyone is seen, heard, valued, and welcomed for who they are.

Happy Pride Month!

Grace Rodriguez
Executive Director
Impact Hub Houston




United4Change unlocks the potential of Spanish-speaking women entrepreneurs through its micro-entrepreneurship empowerment program

Houston, TX 05/16/2023: United4Change Center (U4C) is pleased to announce that the first 4-month Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Program in Houston: “Programa de Empoderamiento y Micro-Emprendimiento para Mujeres Emprendedoras de Houston”, which has been sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co, has successfully started on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. The initial group of participants started their 4-month empowerment and entrepreneurship journey at Impact Hub Houston.

The U4C Program is delivered by professionals and experts with more than 30 years of experience combined in women empowerment, economic development, entrepreneurship, business and management. It is based on five fundamental pillars:

  1. Micro-entrepreneurship education
  2. Practical implementation
  3. Creativity & innovation
  4. Mentorship by experts
  5. Network and support groups.

U4C has also partnered with UNIKEMIA, an educational institution created by academics with experience in world-class business schools, to provide Spanish-speaking women in Houston with high-quality hybrid business education.

“We believe everyone deserves the dignity of being able to provide economically for themselves and their families.  As an organization committed to the cause of social justice, we believe economic empowerment is among the most sustainable way to bring people too often left out of meaningful opportunity to the American Dream.”

– Ximena Murillo, United4Change Founder/CEO

“We believe entrepreneurship is key to realizing social justice and U4C is committed to helping Houstonians in realizing the full potential this community offers..”

– Raul Vasquez, United4Change Board Director/Treasurer.

The U4C Program is based on a holistic approach and focused on women from underserved and at-risk communities (migrants/immigrants, refugees, low socioeconomic status and/or domestic violence survivors). Houston is one of the nation’s most entrepreneurial, business-friendly, and diverse communities.

“When you speak to me in English, you speak to my brain, but when you speak to me in Spanish, you speak to my heart. – An adaptation from Nelson Mandela’s famous quote which I heard a prominent Latino leader say during the 2022 Hispanic Leadership Summit. I saw this quote manifest in real life at the Mujeres Emprendedoras de Houston Kickoff event. We are extremely grateful to have United4Change Center as an Ecosystem Member of Impact Hub Houston. 35% of Harris County’s population speaks Spanish as their first language. By bringing this in-language and culturally relevant program to life, U4C is meeting a crucial need for the Hispanic micro-business community in our city. The intentionality from their team is impeccable and we’re honored to be hosting this impactful program and powerful group of female micro-entrepreneurs.”

– Michelle Avalos, Impact Hub Houston Co-Founder/Deputy Director

About United4Change Center (U4C): U4C is a non-profit organization based in Houston that promotes social justice and peace globally through collaborative partnerships that empower marginalized groups, creating conditions for self-directed, dignified, and sustainable existence. In genuine partnership with community leaders and the beneficiaries of our initiatives, we seek to create conditions that build and strengthen the resilience of marginalized groups in fragile communities. U4C has designed and implemented several Social, Economic, and Humanitarian Impact Projects. U4C has been recognized in the United States and internationally for its work and dedication to promoting social justice and sustainable peace.

For more information about this exciting Program, please reach out to Ximena Murillo at [email protected].

Environmental Action: What is Impact Hub Doing to Address Key Environmental Issues?

Environmental Action: What is Impact Hub Doing to Address Key Environmental Issues?

For the launch of our global Environmental Strategy, we spoke to Anne Merkle, Environmental Lead at Impact Hub Network.

Q: First things first, tell us, why do you do what you do?

A: Simply put, because I carry a deep love for our planet in me and want to know that I did everything possible for future generations to have the chance for a vibrant, peaceful and content life.


When I grew up on a small island in the Baltic Sea in Germany I had no idea about what harm was already taking place. The Club of Rome already pointed to the threat in 1972 but growth was more important and too little did people know and understand.

Now most of us do understand that there is a crisis – one that impacts us all. I just could not pretend and simply continue with the “good life” I envisioned for myself when I was building my sandcastles on the beach.

Environmental Action at Impact Hub - Anne Merkle, Environmental Lead at Impact Hub Network
Anne Merkle, Environmental Lead at Impact Hub Network

I decided to listen to science, educate myself, change what I can in my own life and dedicate my work to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss in my unique way. The environmental emergency we all face can seem far away but just let this sink in: half of the island I grew up on will disappear with sea levels rising and this is just 80 years away. My home town will be almost completely gone. It might not happen in my lifetime but that doesn’t make it matter any less. I had two options: get paralysed or do what I could. You can guess what I chose – using my area of influence, my skills and taking it one step at a time.

Even if it is small steps – moving is what matters. If we all – governments and non-greenwashing corporates, but also start-ups and us as humans – do the same, let’s see what might be possible. I want to be a climate optimist!

Q: Incredible story, Anne. Thanks for sharing. You’re leading the launch of the Environmental Strategy of the Impact Hub Network. What is this all about? Who’s involved?

A: When the Impact Hub Network decided last year that environmental action as well as diversity, equity and inclusion will be our two key focus areas in our 2030 strategy, my heart jumped! The potential for all 100+ Impact Hubs to stand behind and put their energy on these two crucial and very interconnected topics… WOW. Don’t get me wrong, Impact Hub has already had so many great successes in social innovation and many environmental programs. Still, this strategy can take us to a whole new level – so much is possible.

The Impact Hub Network stands side by side with the local, regional and global communities that are aiming to tackle our climate emergency. As a network, we aim to contribute to building a regenerative economy while focusing specifically on actions in the areas of Net Zero (energy, mobility and construction), Food & Agriculture and Circularity.


Of course, we acknowledge our limited climate expertise – but we want to use our unique innovation and start-up support knowledge, our influence and our locally rooted globally yet connected networks, to co-create with key partners. We can’t – and won’t – do this alone but we are ready for serious and large scale action. Doing this with three core values in mind: being grounded in science, daring and positive.

The strategy was co-created with Impact Hubs across the globe and we are now moving into implementation. I hope in a year from now we can say: everyone – every Impact Hub employee, every member, every partner – thinks about and acts on our environmental action strategy and it is fully integrated within our work. Making it a priority will offer all our members a great chance to grow in this area and receive targeted support while opening the doors for many new strategic partnerships.

Q: Sounds ambitious! Can you elaborate on some concrete actions we’re taking as a network?

A: We have three key areas of action for now. And being honest, we will learn (a lot!) together as a network and with our partners and adapt as we go. Nevertheless, this is our starting point:

  • First, to empower our members to have either neutral or positive environmental impact. It doesn’t matter what SDG they work on. We want to support all our members to consider their environmental impact and act on it. Let’s not forget we are talking about 24.000 people and counting!
  • Second, to support green ventures to scale their impact faster, especially in our focus areas (net zero, Food & Agriculture and Circularity). We want to run more thematic local, regional and global programs; convene key stakeholders to co-create actions; and create more visibility for the existing solutions of our members.
  • Lastly, to role model through our spaces. For us, looks both at becoming a CO2 Neutral Coworking community by 2025 (and eventually net zero) but goes further by looking at all our operations and aims to fully integrate the topic in a locally fitting manner.
Environmental Action at Impact Hub - Anne Merkle, Environmental Lead at Impact Hub Network
Anne Merkle at Col des Évettes / Glacier du Grand Méan, France

Q: Which two actions are you personally most excited about?

A: I would first choose our recent Circularity Program. In 2021, we started a prototype exploring how to integrate circular design principles into all our programs across 12 Impact Hubs in Africa and Europe. The idea is simple: equipping start-up founders with this knowledge early on to anticipate the environmental impact of their ventures and make different choices when it is still easy to make changes.


After this pilot, the intention is to have all 100+ Impact Hubs incorporate this knowledge in all their programs. This is already pretty exciting as we run 240+ start-up support programs a year across the network.

We also want to make this knowledge and approach accessible to other social enterprise support organisations – so can you imagine everyone supporting start-ups includes education on circularity as a standard for their programs across the globe? Nice, right?!

The second? I will keep it brief. We already have a lot of excellent programs globally and within local Impact Hubs, such as the Ikea Supply Chain Innovation on food and packaging or the 35ish programs we run with WWF – one of our global strategic partners for almost 10 years tackling topics from deforestation in the Amazon, to innovative solutions to protect biodiversity in Austria, to sustainable energy in Rwanda to a recent program on plastics in China. I am super excited to identify the programs that work best, bring the concepts to more Impact Hubs and get back to the drawing board to come up with some completely new program ideas with partners.

And of course, there are many internal pieces we will need to figure out. One example is how do we measure, compensate and reduce our CO2 as a community operating in 60 countries, each facing different realities. We are excited to get started!

Q: Love the excitement! Now, let’s dream a little. What’s the potential impact we aim to make through these actions?

A: Today’s start-ups are tomorrow’s multinationals. When talking about environmental action it takes a lot of effort from governments (big time!) and of course, companies and citizens are just as important. Yet, start-ups and their contribution is often overlooked. That is the unique role that Impact Hub can play: getting the start-up world (starting with our network… but you asked me to dream!) to come to play and not on the side stage but joining the others on the main stage. It is not just the start-up solutions but also the entrepreneurial spirit and the innovative energy that we need so badly to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis we face.

When we reach 2030, I hope we will look back and be proud of the change we co-created with our members and partners. We are ready – it won’t be perfect but we are hungry for change and want to contribute in our unique way as a network.

Q: Thank you, Anne, for this inspiring, action-filled, story.

Learn more about our Environmental Strategy on our dedicated page and contact our colleague Meet Muchhala –  – to discuss the strategy in more depth.

New Partnership with LiftFund: Harris County Small Business Relief Fund Outreach!

New Partnership with LiftFund: Harris County Small Business Relief Fund Outreach!

Harris County has created a new $30 Million Small Business Relief Fund to support micro and small businesses recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Created with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Small Business Relief Fund is being administered by LiftFund, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI); and we are proud to announce that Impact Hub Houston is partnering with LiftFund to help more entrepreneurs, founders, and micro and small businesses learn about and get access to this critical funding so they can survive and thrive in these incredibly trying times.

Eligible small business owners may apply for financial support in the form of grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to advance their recovery from the economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application window will open Monday, September 20 at 9:30AM and close Monday, October 4 at 5:30PM Central Standard Time. The application process is not first-come, first-served; all completed applications will be reviewed for eligibility and prioritized based on small business impact parameters. Below you will find more details about this program, including eligibility, funding methodology and timeframe.

To learn more, scroll down and/or attend one of LiftFund’s upcoming Virtual Info Sessions:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Located within Harris County
  • Registered business operating in Harris County. Check this map see if your business address is located in the county
  • Must have 30 or fewer employees (including part time, contractors and full-time employees and owners)
  • In operation before April 2020
  • Experienced negative impact on operations due to the pandemic
  • Annual revenue of less than $500,000 dollars in 2019 and 2020
  • Be in good standing Texas Comptroller’s office with no outstanding tax obligations or liabilities

Tax-exempt businesses, gambling businesses, residential builders, speculative real estate investors, government entities and sexually-oriented businesses are not eligible. You can view the list of prohibited NAICS codes here. 


Grant Awards & Limitations

The Harris County Small Business Relief Fund will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible micro and small businesses. Funds must be used for business-related expenses, including payroll, working capital, business rent, inventory, supplies, equipment, and other operating costs.

  • Grant applicants are only eligible to receive one grant award
  • Only one grant may be awarded per business with more than one location
  • Limited to one grant per physical address within Harris County

Documentation Required

The grant application will require verification of pertinent documentation.

  • Personal Identification
    • Driver’s license or government-issued photo ID
  • Business Information
    • Proof of business registration with Harris County or TX Secretary of State
    • Q1 2021 941, payroll report or 1099 to verify number of employees
    • Business utility bill (water, gas, electric) Home based businesses may provide a home utility bill.
    • Business Financials: 2019 and 2020 business tax return (additional financial documents, such as bank statements or P&L may be requested if losses cannot be verified by the tax returns)
  • Other
    • DD 214 proof of military discharge (veterans only)

Scoring Methodology

The Harris Small Business Relief Fund awards will not be made on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applications will be assessed and scored using the following methodology. Applications with the highest scores will be reviewed and approved first. Applications will have up to 150 points based on the following five elements, each with a maximum of 30 points.

  • Ownership
    • The program has a priority for woman, minority and veteran-owned businesses
  • Previous access to financial support
    • Receipt of previous federal COVID-19 funding through PPP loan, EIDL or Harris County grants
  • Social Vulnerability Index of business location
  • Employee count
    • The program has a priority for businesses with fewer than 10 employees
  • Industry

Timeline & Award Schedule

  • Applications will be accepted from Monday, September 20 at 9:30AM to Monday, October 4 at 5:30PM.
  • The application review period will start on October 5, 2021 and continue through January 9, 2022.
  • The grant funds will be awarded monthly beginning in November 2021 and through January 2022. Eligible applications with the highest scores will be reviewed and awarded first, followed by applications with lower scores.
  • All grants will be awarded by January 2022.

For more information, or to get information for the Harris County Business Relief program in Spanish or Vietnamese, please visit https://www.harriscountybusinessrelief.org/

Investing2030: Redefining the Future of ROI

Investing2030: Redefining the Future of ROI

Now that COVID-19 and climate change have profoundly disrupted society and our economies, how might we innovate investment in impact and build more just, equitable, and resilient economies by 2030?

We are addressing this at the Impact Hub Houston’s “Investing2030: Redefining the Future of ROI” Summit on Thursday, May 20th, from 12:00pm CT to 5:00pm CT!

Investing2030 aims to provide a window into this future, where a surge in entrepreneurs developing “glocal” (global+local) solutions to the world’s most pressing issues intersects with the next generation of funders implementing triple-bottom-line investing with an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) lens.

From climate change to economic, gender, and racial inequalities to crises in health, education, and more — areas targeted by the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — we know that it will require more inclusion, more ideas, more innovation, and more investment to effectively address all of these issues and get our planet on a positive track by 2030.

You will walk away from Investing2030 with a better understanding of:

  • Diverse types of impact ventures and social entrepreneurs
  • What fundraising looks like in different regions, industries and verticals
  • How to raise funding at various stages of growth
  • What entrepreneurs’ *real* challenges have been for fundraising in Houston
  • …And more! 

Investing2030 is happening during Houston Tech Rodeo May 18-24 and is open to all: entrepreneurs, startup founders, students, and community members who are interested in learning more about transforming “Return On Investment” into “Return On Impact.” And it’s FREE and virtual, so all can attend! Registration is still open — Join us to learn from and connect with people at the forefront of our Impact + Investment ecosystem!

Register now and join us to learn the Future of ROI: https://investing2030.eventbrite.com

Workforce Solutions, MassChallenge, and Impact Hub Houston Join Forces to Support Female Founders

Workforce Solutions, MassChallenge, and Impact Hub Houston Join Forces to Support Female Founders

Workforce Solutions selects MassChallenge and Impact Hub Houston to operate a startup bootcamp designed for female founders. 

(Houston, TX) April 1, 2021 – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, Workforce Solutions, the public workforce system for Houston and the surrounding 13 counties in Southeast Texas, and Impact Hub Houston, a locally rooted and globally connected impact innovation incubator, today announced a new partnership to launch a bootcamp to support female founders in the greater Houston region.

Together, Workforce Solutions, MassChallenge, and Impact Hub Houston will identify and support female founders looking to start a new high-growth or high-impact startup and support them through the earliest stages of building a business.

“There is unprecedented growth in startup creation as a result of the pandemic and founders from all corners of the world are connecting in this virtual environment to build and scale amazing ideas,” said Jon Nordby, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas. “With these new collaborations, we are also witnessing a massive gap in access to startup development resources. Our partnership with Workforce Solutions and Impact Hub Houston will help female founders build on their existing knowledge to become life-long innovators. MassChallenge is thrilled to partner with Workforce Solutions to equip bold entrepreneurs, disrupt the status quo, and create meaningful change.”

Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston, adds: “As a female founder myself, I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity to support and uplift more women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses in our region. By now, it’s no secret that women, and especially women of color, are under-invested in; and this is our chance to change that by helping more women strengthen their businesses and prepare to seek funding. It makes perfect sense that we’re starting in Houston — one of the most diverse cities in the country and consistently ranked one of the Top Ten cities for women entrepreneurs — and that we’re launching this with our partners at MassChallenge Texas and Workforce Solutions, both of whom have been strong allies in our collaborative mission to empower diverse entrepreneurs and talent.”

“Workforce Solutions is excited to partner with MassChallenge and Impact Hub Houston to bring to life a new bootcamp designed for mission-driven women focused on creating, sustaining, or expanding a business,” said Mike Temple, executive director of Workforce Solutions. “We recognize that small businesses and startups are vital to the continued growth of the local economy. Our goal is to drive a community that will support female leaders in support of entrepreneurial activities that create income and new job opportunities across the greater Houston area.”

The female founder bootcamp leverages MassChallenge’s proven acceleration model and Impact Hub Houston’s inclusive incubation expertise to identify, accelerate, and connect female founders with the resources they need to launch and scale high-impact businesses. The bootcamp is industry agnostic and applications are open to all female founders in the Houston-Galveston region, offering them access to the global MassChallenge and Impact Hub curriculum, workshops, and networks of expert mentors and resources.

Applications to the bootcamp are live April 1 – April 7 and applicants will need to meet the Workforce Solutions eligibility criteria in order to participate.

Applicants can apply by: 

  1. Submitting the pre-screening application by the deadline of 5PM CT on April 7 2021.
  1. If a pre-screening application is approved, a Workforce Solutions staff person will reach out to the applicant to schedule a meeting; a response is needed within 2 business days.
  2. At the conclusion of the assessment the applicant will be asked to complete the Workforce Solutions Financial Aid Application and upload supporting documents; this process must be completed by April 19, 2021.

Twenty-five applicants will be selected to participate in the Women’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp on April 29th and 30th. Content will be available in both English and Spanish.

Questions? Email [email protected]

About Workforce Solutions 

Workforce Solutions is dedicated to keeping the Gulf Coast region a great place to do business, work, and live. Our employer-driven, people-focused approach elevates the economic and human potential of the region to attract and retain the best employers, afford everyone the dignity of a job, and remain indispensable to the global economy. As the public workforce system for Houston and the surrounding 13 counties in Southeast Texas, we work in tandem with the Texas Workforce Commission and the statewide Workforce Solutions network.

About MassChallenge 

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised $8.6B in funding, generated $3.6B in revenue, and created more than 186,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.

About Impact Hub Houston 

About Impact Hub Houston (houston.impacthub.net): Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, 501c3 nonprofit impact innovation incubator that empowers diverse changemakers to solve some of society’s most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network — the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms, and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem that looks like Houston and works for all.

About Impact Hub 

About Impact Hub (https://impacthub.net): Impact Hub is a global network focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 social entrepreneurs & innovators in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. It contributes to the development of social enterprise ecosystems to drive collaboration and innovation around the Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Announcing: Frost Bank Sponsors First Accelerate Scholarships for Female Founders at Impact Hub Houston

Announcing: Frost Bank Sponsors First Accelerate Scholarships for Female Founders at Impact Hub Houston


2021 March 18 – Houston, TX – Impact Hub Houston, a nonprofit impact innovation incubator dedicated to helping diverse changemakers and social entrepreneurs launch impact-driven ventures, announces a new partnership with Frost Bank to sponsor eight female founders to participate in their new Accelerate Membership Program.

The first Impact Hub in the United States to provide the global Accelerate Membership program, Impact Hub Houston will work with Frost Bank to select eight women entrepreneurs from applicants across the Greater Houston area to receive the program for three months at no cost to them, ensuring that critical business and financial support goes to diverse entrepreneurs that need it most.

From Solution Diagnostics to Business Model Validation to Funding Readiness, this inaugural cohort will offer women entrepreneurs at any stage of their development journey a step-by-step methodology to rapidly and systematically refine their business model among peers, and gain a deeper understanding of business and financial management while getting their venture ready for pitching to stakeholders and potential funders.

Impact Hub Houston CEO/Executive Director, Grace Rodriguez, shares: “We are passionate about Gender Equality (SDG 5), Reducing Inequalities (SDG 10), and Economic Growth (SDG 8); and want to help women build strong startups that secure the capital they need to succeed and scale. We designed our Accelerate Programs to offer diverse entrepreneurs continuous education, community, and support to develop their ventures, graduate into renowned accelerator programs from our partners like MassChallenge and Greentown Labs, and then return to us to expand into the many markets around the world where Impact Hubs have a presence. We’re so excited that Frost Bank shares this passion for creating impact through supporting diverse entrepreneurs and local businesses; and we look forward to working with them to empower more women onto paths of financial resilience and generational wealth.”

Trisha Bradley, Vice President and Community Development Officer at Frost Bank, states: “Giving back to our communities has been part of the Frost culture since our company was founded more than 150 years ago, and we’re proud to support local women-owned small businesses through our partnership with Impact Hub Houston.”

“At Impact Hub we believe the time to act is now. It’s why we are excited to launch our new Accelerate Membership”, says Maria Trindade, Global Network Development Director at Impact Hub Global. “Its unique approach combines all the benefits of an enterprise support program with the flexibility that entrepreneurs need; plus its tailored nature makes this intervention highly accessible for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds who may not be able to dedicate full-time to their business idea.”

To apply for the Frost Bank Female Founder Scholarship, please click here or scroll down to the form below.


About Frost (frostbank.com): Frost is the banking, investments and insurance subsidiary of Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (NYSE: CFR), a financial holding company with $42.4 billion in assets at Dec. 31, 2020. One of the 50 largest U.S. banks by asset size, Frost provides a full range of banking, investments and insurance services to businesses and individuals in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Permian Basin, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio regions. Founded in 1868, Frost has helped Texans with their financial needs for three centuries.

About Impact Hub Houston (houston.impacthub.net): Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, 501c3 nonprofit impact innovation incubator that empowers diverse changemakers to solve some of society’s most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network — the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms, and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem that looks like Houston and works for all.

About Impact Hub (https://impacthub.net): Impact Hub is a global network focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 social entrepreneurs & innovators in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. It contributes to the development of social enterprise ecosystems to drive collaboration and innovation around the Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.


Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Furthering its goals to Reduce Inequalities and promote Decent Work and Economic Growth, Impact Hub Houston (IHH) is proud to announce a new partnership with SpenDebt, a Houston-based fintech company on a mission to help one-million families turn every swipe of their debit card into an investment in their future.

Joined by a common mission — to strengthen local economies and empower people to improve their financial situations so they can get on the path to wealth creation — Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt decided to launch this partnership during Black History Month, to spotlight SpenDebt, a black-owned startup founded in Houston, and its financial tools platform.

Under the partnership, SpenDebt will offer members of the Impact Hub Houston community the opportunity to use the app for FREE for 3 months. Anyone who would like to participate in the partnership pilot can sign up for an account at SpenDebt and enter “IHH” (case sensitive) under the promotion code to receive the 3 months free.

SpenDebt will help participants set their own goals to pay down their debt as they use their debit card for everyday purchases. Users will also be able to donate to Impact Hub Houston alongside their micropayments; and SpenDebt will generously match up to $500 for all donations made to Impact Hub Houston. Participants are welcomed to continue to use the application after the 3 month offer, and the $0.10 per transaction will continue to be donated to Impact HUB Houston every month.

Impact Hub Houston encourages people to begin paying down their debt through manageable micropayments, so they can get on a faster track to positive wealth creation. To learn more about SpenDebt and how it can help you improve your financial situation, SpenDebt Co-Founder Kiley Summers will present it and answer questions during Houston’s Open Project Night on February 10 at 5:00pm.

SpenDebt is a financial technology company designed to assist people to pay off debt, leveraging micropayment through everyday transactions. SpenDebt is on a mission to help save one million families from financial fatalities every time they swipe their debit cards or have a banking transaction.

Impact Hub Houston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit impact innovation incubator that equitably empowers diverse changemakers and entrepreneurs working to solve society’s most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network — recognized by the United Nations as the world’s largest community for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Impact Hub Houston provides intentional programs, an inclusive innovation ecosystem, and an international network of experts and peers aligned to inspire, connect, and empower people to create the change they wish to see in the world.

Announcing: #MarketBlack! Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative Team Up to Support Black-Owned Businesses

Announcing: #MarketBlack! Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative Team Up to Support Black-Owned Businesses

Impact Hub Houston and the Black Marketing Initiative Partner to Launch “#MarketBlack”: A Virtual Business Success Training and Small Business Fund for Houston Area Businesses.

In service to our community, and in honor of Black History Month, Impact Hub Houston and the Black Marketing Initiative (BMI) are excited to announce #MarketBlack — BMI’s new training, mentoring, and networking program specifically designed to help black entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Houston area elevate their businesses, connect with resources, and uplift them during and after the pandemic, with the belief that community can positively impact us all.

Designed by educators and entrepreneurs, #MarketBlack brings together 7 weeks of expert-led workshops, creative community cultivation, and interactive training modules specifically geared toward Black entrepreneurs in Houston. Impact Hub Houston serves as The Black Marketing Initiative’s fiscal sponsor for the project, to provide promotional and fundraising support, access to its network and community, and ensure the project’s success. Another key community partner, Sankofa Research Institute, is providing research services for the program, tracking partners’ and participants’ progress and outcomes in order to report on the health of Houston’s black business community and determine the efficacy of the program.

MarketBlack enjoys the support of more than 20 businesses and entrepreneurs in the Houston area, and is continuing to grow every day. In addition to Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative, partners and participants in the project include: Action One Media, Marcus Bowers of Marcus Bowers TV and She’s Happy Hair, Sankofa Research Institute, Choose to Do, Inc, Emergent Business Solutions (the creator of African Fashion Week), South Union CDC of the Sunnyside Energy Project, and many local business owners who are serving as expert panelists, instructors, and financial partners throughout the program.

Action Jackson, one of the leaders and organizers of MarketBlack, shares: “The Black Marketing Initiative is not just about being Black — it is also about the belief that community can positively impact us all. Successful Black entrepreneurs are good for business. Good for community. Good for everybody. We have to be the change we want to see. Join us in our mission to not only ensure Black Owned Businesses survive, but THRIVE! Be a part of history TODAY: Help us raise money to ensure sustainability of small businesses in our area. Together, #WeAllCanWin!”

To learn more, visit https://houston.impacthub.net/black-marketing-initiative/

You can help Houston’s black entrepreneurs by supporting the program now at https://www.betterunite.com/marketblack!

Learn more about the Black Marketing Initiative and the MarketBlack Program at BlackMarketingInitiative.com