The Tory Burch Foundation has named Tiffany Dufu its new president.
By her own account, when asked what she does, Dufu simply says, “I advance women and girls.” To that end, she has raised more than $25 million toward the cause of women and girls.
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A founder of the peer-coaching tech company The Cru, which was acquired by Luminary last year, Dufu also penned the book “Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less.” She also was a launch team member of the “Lean In” initiative and previously served as chief leadership officer of Levo, a professional network for Millennials. Before taking on that role, Dufu acted as president of The White House Project, which trained women in the U.S. to run for political office.
Officially starting with the foundation Thursday, Dufu will oversee all programs, operations and fundraising for the foundation, which champions women entrepreneurs nationwide by lining up access to capital, education and community. She succeeds Laurie Fabiano, who after nearly 10 years is leaving to pursue personal interests. However, Fabiano will carry on as president emerita following the changing of the guard.
Burch and Dufu are well-acquainted, as Dufu also spoke at the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit. At the foundation, Dufu has been tasked with bolstering its impact and fundraising. New initiatives will be revealed this spring, according to a company spokesperson.
Revealing the news Wednesday in a statement, Burch described Dufu as “an accomplished and dynamic leader, who understands first-hand the obstacles women entrepreneurs face, as well as the tools and resources they need to grow and scale a business. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team and look forward to continuing to build the Tory Burch Foundation under her leadership.”
Her accolades also include having been named to Entrepreneur’s 100 Powerful Women and Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women. A University of Washington graduate and Simmons University trustee, a Delta Sigma Theta sorority member and a lifetime Girl Scout, Dufu lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Dufu has informed visitors to her site that she knows what her tombstone will say: “She got to as many women as she could.”
In her new role with the designer, Dufu will have even more potential to do so. The foundation’s Fellows Program has offered $1.85 million in grants to help 280 women advance their businesses. In addition, the foundation’s Bank of America-backed Capital Program has distributed $100 million in low-interest loans to 5,600 women entrepreneurs and the foundation’s Women of Color Grant Program has deployed $3.2 million in grants to 240 small businesses that are led by women of color. (The Tory Burch Foundation first partnered with Fearless Fund and The Cru to create the Women of Color grant program in 2022.)
In addition, more than 650,000 people benefit annually from the foundation’s online education programs, which include free small business webinars.
Nationwide, 42 percent of all U.S. businesses are owned by women and worldwide 33 percent of all businesses are owned by women. The dollar investment that women-led businesses receive is fractional compared to their male counterparts. In 2021, women-led businesses received 2 percent of the total funding compared to 4 percent in 2021.
In a statement, Dufu referenced how “women own nearly half of businesses in America, which are key drivers of growth and job creation, and they are launching new ventures at lightning speed.” She added, “I’m thrilled to be starting this role because the mission of the Tory Burch Foundation isn’t just my personal passion — empowering women entrepreneurs will catapult our economy.”
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