Aspiring female entrepreneurs will soon have one less barrier to overcome, in launching new startup companies in Eugene, Oregon.

Onward Eugene, a local economic development non-profit, is partnering with Relief Nursery to provide no-cost respite care for participants of their business startup support programs. This pioneering initiative is made possible by a Thriving Entrepreneurs Grant, from Oregon Community Foundation and the Anderson family.

“Onward Eugene is thrilled to partner with Relief Nursery to create greater equity to access entrepreneurial opportunities”, shared Startup Community Director Caitlin Vargas. “Thanks to the Oregon Community Foundation and the Anderson family, we are now able to remove the barrier of childcare for aspiring women entrepreneurs in our region.”

The respite care program is set to begin in late January, in support of entrepreneurs who participate in Onward Eugene’s flagship startup accelerator program EUG Launchpad. This program is one of several no-cost entrepreneurial support programs offered by Onward Eugene, in fulfillment of the organization’s mission of prosperity-for-all. The University of Oregon’s Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) series will also be supported by the addition of respite childcare. All of these programs are hosted at the Innovation Hub at 942 Olive Street in downtown Eugene.

WIN participant Roxana Morenos-Humpries exclaimed “Having access to no-cost care for my 10-month-old son while I work to establish my event company is a game changer.”

The lack of affordable and accessible child care drives parents – mostly women – out of the workforce. More than 2.3 million women have left the labor market since February 2020, accounting for 80% of all displaced workers during the pandemic. Executive Director of Relief Nursery Kelly Sutherland adds, “This respite child care is a vital step in supporting women entrepreneurs and building a more inclusive economy in Eugene-Springfield that will be the foundation of long-term prosperity. Relief Nursery is proud to be part of the solution.”

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About Onward Eugene

Onward Eugene unites regional partners — mobilizing rebuilding efforts to fully realize our region’s shared potential for expansive and inclusive prosperity. Bringing together support for startup companies, business expansion, regional marketing and business recruiting initiatives. Onward Eugene is a force multiplier in the creation of economic resilience. Onward Eugene is 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more information about Onward Eugene, please visit www.onwardeugene.org. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Relief Nursery

Relief Nursery is a local 501(c)3 non-profit. A cornerstone of this community,  Relief Nursery is a child abuse and neglect prevention agency that serves the most vulnerable families in Eugene and Springfield with a wrap-around strength-based approach to child and family development.