Carry Collective Debuts Inaugural Entrepreneurship Program to Make House for Underrepresented Wine Marketers


Sixth-Month Virtual Program Facilitated By Industry Professionals and Sustainable Entrepreneurs

AUSTIN, TX – JUNE 14 – Lift Collective, a nonprofit organization widening the aperture of intersectionality in the wine industry, launched a new entrepreneurship program rooted in community that aims to disrupt the way underrepresented wine entrepreneurs navigate the industry. The six-month initiative will provide monetary support, tangible resources, and professional connections for entrepreneurs and new business owners working in the wine industry.

“There is an equity and inclusion problem within the wine industry. Lift Collective is taking action to change the trajectory of underrepresented wine entrepreneurs who report being overlooked for financial funding opportunities and regularly face bias and racism,” said Rania Zayyat, founder of Lift Collective. “The Lift Collective Entrepreneurship Program puts the power in the hands of the participants to steer their own business journeys with support and resources from industry professionals invested in the next generation of wine entrepreneurs.”

The Lift Collective Entrepreneurship Program is open to applicants nationwide and will be hosted on the virtual online platform, The Us Space, beginning September 2022. Divided into four pillars, the program offers participants a variety of group workshops, individual sessions and roundtable discussions, which will all be led by qualified and vetted facilitators from small business organizations and a group of successful wine entrepreneurs.

Pillars of the Program:

  • Pillar 1: Foundation – Business foundations and sustainability mindset in the wine industry
  • Pillar 2: Business Growth – Tactics for launch and growth of business
  • Pillar 3: Sales & Marketing – Tips and tools for pitching, selling, and closing
  • Pillar 4: Implementation – Group exercises, Q&A, and implementation

“We are on a mission to transform the wine industry to operate in a more equitable way through education and access to dollars. In recent years, our scholarship program has successfully connected 12 professionals to wine partners who are actively creating space for marginalized communities. It became clear there was an opportunity to offer more,” added Cara Bertone, vice president of Lift Collective. “The entrepreneurs we are looking to connect with for this program include but are not limited to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, people of color, persons from racially diverse or intersectional communities, persons with disabilities, and persons from LGBTQIA+ communities.”

Entrepreneurs will be chosen for their need to take their businesses to the next level within the wine industry. Each participant can expect to network with peers, receive mentorship from industry luminaries and gain strategic relationships and skill-building within the business of wine. The group will each receive a monetary stipend of $5,000 to help offset costs as they make time for this entrepreneurial program. Applications are open today through July 31, 2022 and interested entrepreneurs can apply at

“Entrepreneurship is a long journey that no one should have to walk alone. I am honored to join Lift Collective as Program Coordinator for the inaugural cohort. Building a business felt foreign to me. Even with an MBA, the nuances of ownership were daunting. I recognize the key is building endurance and forming community with like-minded individuals who understand that equity takes resilience and persistence. The wine industry will never feel like it’s for ‘us’ if we are not building new business models that start with ‘us’ at the top,” stated Cha McCoy, certified sommelier and founder of Cha Squared Experiences, LLC. “I am ecstatic to join forces with other rebels who are not afraid to redefine success in the wine industry for those who are often left out, beyond the restaurant floor or vineyard fields and into the owner’s seat.”

Accepted entrepreneurs will be notified by August 31, 2022 via email used upon registration. The program will run from September 2022 – March 2023. For more information, or to inquire about sponsoring the Entrepreneurship Program, please visit

About Lift Collective

Lift Collective is a 501(c)3 community-centered, multi-channel platform advocating equity and inclusion in the wine industry. Through its annual programming, proprietary research, community partnerships, and scholarships, Lift Collective collaborates with experts and key opinion leaders across the beverage space to ensure activities are relevant, credible, and prioritize diverse perspectives. The purpose of Lift Collective is less about behind-the-scenes efforts made by a select few and more about collaboration, conversation, and transparency between our partners and collaborators.


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