Angela Ozar of Aviatra Accelerators

Angela Ozar of Aviatra Accelerators

Florence, Ky. – What’s in a name?

The change in name from Bad Girl Ventures to Aviatra Accelerators personifies a new growth strategy for the seven-year-old women’s business accelerator in Northern Kentucky.

The name change signals an expanded emphasis on attracting new clients, opening new markets and “encapsulating who we are,” said Angela Ozar, the organization’s market manager.

“Our mission has not changed. Our mission is still to empower women entrepreneurs. How we do it is changing.”

Bad Girl Ventures has grown up into a “more mature, more professional” organization, Ozar told members of the Florence Rotary Club at a luncheon meeting April 10. The name change, announced in March, reflects the non-profit’s growth and maturity she said.

Aviatra is a combination of two Latin words: avis (bird) and atria (open to the sky). The new name is designed to project the pioneering spirit of aviators such as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II.

Bad Girl Ventures launched in 2010 to help entrepreneurial women with business start-ups and financial support. The organization now has offices in Covington, Cincinnati and Cleveland and has helped more than 1,000 women interested in operating their own businesses.

A least two of its start-ups, Pet Wants and Functional Formularies, have grown into multi-million dollar enterprises, according to Ozar.

Aviatra Accelerators now will expand the Bad Girl emphasis from starting a business to sustaining it, and from small business loans to venture capital investments. It also will extend its reach further throughout the region.

“Many women-owned businesses start because of one person’s passion,” Ozar explained. “Then down the line they have 20 employees and say, “Now, what do I do?”

Aviatra Accelerators offers three types of programs. EXPLORE enables women to learn what it takes to start and run a business. LAUNCH provides eight weeks of training for start-ups and a chance to compete for a $25,000 loan.

GROW Workshops bring in experts to teach existing business owners recruitment strategies, succession planning, relationship building and legal matters. “A lot of bonding and business gets done in those programs,” Ozar observed.

“Everyone needs a little inspiration and encouragement on a daily basis.”

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