Synergies Work Receives Grants from Truist Foundation's Inaugural Inspire Awards

Staff Report

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Synergies Work, an Atlanta nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs with disabilities, announced that it achieved second place at Truist Foundation's inaugural Inspire Awards and was also voted Audience Favorite by in-person and virtual event attendees. The recognitions earned the nonprofit grants of $150,000 and $75,000, respectively.

The Truist Foundation Inspire Awards, in collaboration with MIT Solve, is designed to recognize and provide funding to nonprofit organizations that are providing transformational support to women and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-owned businesses in the United States. Each Inspire Awards finalist engaged in a capacity-building support program to turn their innovative solutions into realities. Finalists then pitched their solutions to a panel of distinguished judges at the event where Synergies Work took home two awards.

"Leaving the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards with both second place and the Audience Favorite awards means the world to us because of the light it is shining on the disability community," said Aarti Sahgal, founder and CEO of Synergies Work. "We're confident that the work we're doing makes a difference for entrepreneurs with disabilities. For us to now have Truist Foundation and MIT Solve as part of our support system is huge, and we're so grateful for the avenues this experience and funding will open."

Synergies Work is the only organization that focuses on the untapped potential of small business owners with disabilities. Its Idea to Incubation (i2i) is the nation's largest entrepreneurship program for disabled people. It includes a 10-week incubator where entrepreneurs learn from industry leaders in weekly learning labs, receive one-on-one coaching, and develop their business plans. Participants then take part in an accelerator program where they receive a minimum of two years of support through funding, mentoring, and continuing education to build sustainability and bridge the gaps between the disability and business community.

To date, Synergies Work has supported over 200 entrepreneurs with disabilities, with 62 percent of program participants being women and 54 percent being people of color.

"Synergies Work shares in our vision to create equal access to economic opportunity, giving everyone a chance to thrive. Their efforts are truly catalytic, and we look forward to seeing their continued growth made possible by this capacity-building funding," said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation.