New training tools from the American Heart Association will help health equity innovators address issues like structural racism and other social factors that impact health in urban and rural communities. A recent study found that Black and LatinX founders represented just 2.6% of total funding raised by venture capital in 2020. In its commitment to ensuring equitable health for all, the Association supports innovators and other social enterprises, start-ups, non-profits, and digital and health tech companies that are addressing health equity challenges in their local communities with mentoring, funding opportunities and – now – ongoing training.
The American Heart Association, the leading global voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke for all, has launched the EmPOWERED Innovation Academy, providing participants with tools, community and training concepts from design thinking methodologies and prototyping to customer design and brand storytelling, to help them expand and enhance their solutions.
Completing the Innovation Academy will help prepare participants for regional and national EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerators™ that provide business training, grants and support for small businesses and non-profits, social and digital health tech entrepreneurs and innovators making a difference in community health. Through the Business Accelerators, the American Heart Association has awarded grants totaling more than $1.1 million. The American Heart Association’s 2023 EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™ nationwide application period will open in May.
The Innovation Academy meets people where they are, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status or differently abled status to help develop and grow innovative ideas and small businesses focused on health justice and social and systemic determinants of health.
Participants in the Academy will be introduced to:
- Refining, testing and proving their health impact-focused solution.
- Understanding how to unlock and analyze qualitative data.
- Using design thinking methodologies to test and improve their business’s focus.
- Learning to be an influencer in their market.
- Training and grant opportunities including the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator and the Social Impact Fund.
The American Heart Association is seeking to engage social/health justice focused entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits as well as digital/health focused innovators and entrepreneurs. The American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED Innovation Academy aims to help grow and scale the impact of these entrepreneurs meeting the needs of their communities in addressing social and health justice. Providing training is crucial to developing the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the competitive healthcare industry. By offering a range of resources and support, we can help create a more equitable and accessible health care system.