Erin Horne McKinney Named New CEO Of WomenVenture
Erin Horne McKinney

Erin Horne McKinney Named New CEO Of WomenVenture

The seasoned nonprofit executive and creator of #BlackFemaleFounders will draw on personal experience to help WomenVenture advocate for female entrepreneurship.

WomenVenture, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit economic development agency, named Erin Horne McKinney as its new CEO.

“We are incredibly pleased that Erin Horne McKinney has accepted the role of CEO,” WomenVenture board chair Autumn Way said in a statement. “She brings great energy, a deep commitment to BIPOC and underserved women, and extensive personal experience of entrepreneurship to the role. We are excited to see where her leadership takes WomenVenture.”

Horne McKinney brings more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and tech policy, venture capital, economic development, inclusion/diversity/equity/access (IDEA), and marketing communications. She says her passions include social impact, equitable entrepreneurship, and inclusive innovation.

A founding member of the Black Innovation Alliance, Horne McKinney serves on the advisory board of Collider’s Inclusion Open program and is a board director at Greater Twin Cities United Way. In 2020, she founded St. Paul-based Access Consulting, an economic development firm focused on inclusivity, equity, and opportunity.

“All of the work and research that I do is really steeped in my personal experiences of not having access to certain resources and what I wish would’ve been there when I needed it,” Horne McKinney said. “Data shows that black female entrepreneurship is the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the country—yet the resources for that group are significantly low.”

Established in 1977, WomenVenture empowers women to achieve economic self-sufficiency through small business ownership. Last year, WomenVenture provided more than 8,000 hours of business training, $1.6 million in microloans, and 4,300 hours of expert advice.

“I know first-hand what it’s like to take an idea and turn it into a business,” Horne McKinney said. “I also know what it’s like to be underestimated and undervalued as a Black female entrepreneur. I will continue to use those experiences to lead WomenVenture as an economic development change agent that advocates for greater support and understanding of the full and complex ecosystem of female entrepreneurship.”

Horne McKinney starts full-time on March 15. Her appointment follows the retirement of Elaine Wyatt, who served as WomenVenture’s CEO for nearly eight years.