Why C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative?

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Written by Cindy Cohen

November 1, 2023

I would like to share my experience of creating Why C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative, a non-profit organization designed to support women entrepreneurs.

At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, finding local resources seemed easy enough. I looked online, read some books, attended a few seminars, and asked a few of my friends, some of whom were business owners, some not, where to start. Before I knew it, I was on my way. However, once my business was up and running, and had experienced a level of success, I began to realize women mentors were few and far between.


Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.
With action a tidal wave.
– Ryunosuke Satoro

As a woman entrepreneur, I was unable to easily locate mentors and resources needed to grow my business. Over time I realized there was little support in helping women choose entrepreneurship as a career option. So, in 2010, C2 Your Health LLC started mentoring college women in health, wellness and micro-business development with huge success.

As we progressed on our journey, we became aware of a significant difference in the number of women compared to men involved in entrepreneurship across various sectors of women-owned businesses. To put this into perspective, according to the 2012 U.S. census data, women comprised 39% of business owners nationally. In the state of Indiana, this number was slightly lower at 37%, and in my home area of Saint Joseph County, it was only 2%. This means that there is a considerable gap in the representation of women entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts in our region.

We also learned about the obstacles unique to women, such as work-life-family balance, society expectations, views of women owning their own business, and even women not seeing entrepreneurship as a viable career option, all of which handicap women-owned entrepreneur startups.  Historically, the entrepreneur failure rate for women is about 70%, which is higher than the failure rate for men. There are many reasons for this, however the ones recounted in the research are; lack of role models, mentors, resources, and low self-confidence (fear).

The U.S. government divides women entrepreneurs in three categories:

1. Entrepreneur by Emergency
2. Entrepreneur by Necessity
3. Entrepreneur by Opportunity


All three of these groups improve their success rate exponentially when mentoring is available.


There are over 12 million women-owned businesses in the United States, with these entrepreneurs employing more than 10 million people.

In the groundbreaking report, “Women Entrepreneurs Need Mentors” 75% of women leaders maintain that mentoring plays an integral part in their career. The study goes on to say, “the findings contribute to positive social change by encouraging women entrepreneurs to establish on-going mentoring relationships.” Which is where C2YHWI mentoring truly found its calling.

With this in mind, in 2018 we decided to expand our mentoring program through the creation of C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative (a nonprofit (501c3) organization). We created mentoring fellowships and internships to solve the most frequently noted obstacles in business for women entrepreneurs with a health and wellness focus. Why health and wellness? Because America is sick. The prevalence of major chronic diseases is increasing, with some reaching epidemic levels. Our mentoring program focuses on promoting personal wellness within small groups, thereby actively contributing to the overall health of our community. 

Other than promoting nutrition and health wellness, C2YHWI inspires and empowers women in business and those interested in starting or growing a business by organizing women’s business expo events, mentorship circles, symposiums and networking luncheons and dinners that serve as a source of business information, resources, and support enabling them to succeed.

We provide women micro-entrepreneurs of any kind with instant access to the necessary time, promotion platform, resources, and education needed to grow their small business or turn new ideas into a business venture. We aim to eliminate the barriers to entry of entrepreneurship (education, mentorship resources, time, and marketing). Through the women’s expo and entrepreneurship summit, we provide a platform that connects women micro-entrepreneurs to grow and get their new business ideas off the ground. We are breaking down the walls of limited access to business support by bringing together

experienced and knowledgeable women mentors with aspiring women entrepreneurs right here in our community. But we don’t stop there – we are also tearing down resource barriers. We are linking women entrepreneurs with other small businesses, financial institutions, fellow women entrepreneurs, and valuable customer connection resources. By doing this, we are not just making business growth and startups possible, we are making them efficient and achievable in less time. This aligns perfectly with the C2YHWI’s strategic goal of inspiring women and girls from low-income backgrounds to see entrepreneurship as a real and exciting career option, complete with the support and guidance they need to succeed.

We gained insights into the distinct challenges that women face as entrepreneurs, including navigating the intricate interplay between work, family, and societal expectations.

Moreover, there are prevalent biases against women owning their own businesses, as well as a pervasive perception that entrepreneurship may not be a feasible career choice for women. These unique hurdles can significantly impede the success of women-led startup ventures.

Through the C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative, we proudly launched the Women’s Entrepreneur Summit – Round Tables for Success. This summit is all about providing valuable support for women entrepreneurs, offering mentorship, connecting them to vital resources, nurturing their leadership skills, and boosting their confidence. To this we added health, wellness and mental health support.

We would like to invite you to join our mission. We extend an enthusiastic invitation to you to be part of our mission!

Fast forward to 2023, and it is truly inspiring to look back on the incredible journey we have been on for the past six years. Through numerous Women Entrepreneur Summits, enlightening business building workshops, empowering mastermind meetings, and heartwarming networking meetups, C2YHWI has had the honor of connecting with 974 extraordinary local women. These women were not only eager to carve their own paths in entrepreneurship but were also driven by a desire to create opportunities for themselves and their families.

In our commitment to empowerment, we have invested over 2,000 hours in direct mentoring, nurturing the potential of each of these remarkable individuals. It has been an awe-inspiring experience witnessing their growth, resilience, and unwavering determination.

Our collective efforts were rewarded when we received the prestigious Notre Dame University McCloskey New Venture Competition award. What touched us even more deeply was being recognized as the “New Venture with the Greatest Social Impact” by Better World Books. This serves as a powerful reminder that when we unite with a shared purpose, we have the ability to create far-reaching waves of positive change that go beyond our initial aspirations.

Reflecting on our journey, it is humbling to see how much ground we have covered and the lives we’ve touched. But it is also incredibly uplifting, knowing that our mission to empower and uplift women in entrepreneurship is making a real and tangible impact.

However, we believe that this is just the beginning of our journey towards a brighter, more inclusive, and empowered future for all.

By joining our mission, you have the chance to make a difference by offering opportunities to aspiring girls and women who dream of becoming entrepreneurs. You will also provide seasoned entrepreneurs with access to resources, mentoring, and confidence-building programs. In order to shift the percentage from 2%, we require the backing of individuals like you who are passionate about empowering women striving to enhance their lives and attain economic stability through entrepreneurship within our communities.

C2YHWI operates thanks to the generosity of private donations and scholarships. Your contribution can be a catalyst for change, helping us create a more equitable and prosperous future for women in entrepreneurship. Will you join us on this incredible journey? To make a donation go to

Stay Healthy. Stay Connected. Stay You.


Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Owner, C2 Your Health LLC
Founder, President, C2 Your Health Women’s Initiative Inc. 501(c)(3)
Email CindyCohenRN@yahoo.com

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