Visa is amplifying its support for female entrepreneurship by sponsoring Girl Starter, a technology company that nurtures girls’ interest in technology and business leadership.

Visa will sponsor an episode of the new cable TV series “Girl Starter” airing on TLC and provide fresh support for women in business with its third annual Everywhere Initiative kicking off this week, Visa said in a Wednesday press release.

The Everywhere Initiative culminates in a live competition in Austin, Texas on March 11 where five women will pitch startup ideas leveraging Visa APIs to help merchants grow their businesses with a judging panel consisting of Visa executives and cast members of the “Girl Starter” TV program, Visa said in the release.

Participating startups include BeautyLynk, CNote, Loop & Tie, Soko and Traveling Spoon and one winner will receive $25,000 and the opportunity to launch a pilot of her business with Visa, according to the San Francisco-based payment network.

Since its launch in 2015, the Everywhere Initiative has drawn participation from 1,000 startups with 60 finalists and 14 winners; the program has collectively raised $1.7 billion in funding for aspiring startups, Visa said.

“The sponsorship of Girl Starter continues to move the needle on our commitment to empowering women in the workplace,” said Lynne Biggar, Visa’s chief marketing officer, in the release. “At the same time, it allows us to bring even more startup-led innovation into the fold at Visa, ultimately creating better business solutions for all of our clients and partners.”

Bloomberg News

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