Invest Atlanta hired a new executive director to lead the agency’s Women’s Entrepreneur Initiative, a business development assistance program for early-stage, women-led startup companies.
Monica Hooks will develop, manage and promote programs that support women entrepreneurship and will also work to retain women-owned businesses in Atlanta. “Atlanta is a national leader in female entrepreneurship, and our region is home to more than 200,000 women-owned businesses,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement.
“As that number continues to grow, we want to provide them with the resources they need to thrive. Since the City of Atlanta became the first city to fund and launch an incubator like Women’s Entrepreneur Initiative, we have supported dozens of successful women entrepreneurs. We will continue to do so under the guidance of Monica Hooks.”
Before joining Invest Atlanta, Hooks was CEO of m-oracle, also known as The Marketing Oracle, an agency that offers market and strategy research.
The firm was a graduate of Women’s Entrepreneur Initiative inaugural class in 2016 and has worked with companies such as record labels Epic Records and Grand Hustle and technology-based business Samsung, PlayStation and Disney Interactive.
Hooks also worked at Sony Music Entertainment, where she was responsible for youth culture and early social media influencers and held roles in product management, international marketing and business affairs. “I am thrilled to join the Invest Atlanta team to support women founders and small business owners throughout the City of Atlanta,” Hooks said in a statement.
“I look forward to building off the past success WEI has had as an incubator empowering our entrepreneurs and providing the support they need to take their businesses to the next level.”
Hooks received her bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College and her M.B.A from The Wharton School with concentrations in international marketing, finance and entrepreneurial management. Applications for the next WEI class will open in November.