Meet the Winner and Runners-Up for EnrichHER’s $5k Grant

On April 1st, we opened applications for the 5th round of our $5k Small Business Grant, and we’re excited to announce the winner. These businesses were chosen out of over 500 entries and were evaluated based on a variety factors including need, their business idea, and their pitch.

What Are the Prizes?

One winner will take home a $5000 grant, and five (5) more winners will each receive a $500 grant. Additionally, all winners and finalists will receive a scholarship to EnrichHER’s Business Financing Accelerator. The program trains founders to secure over $100,000 in funding and expedite growth while plugging them into a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who can open new doors to opportunity.

EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. Since 2017, EnrichHER has deployed upwards of $4 million through its platform and matched business-owners to $13 million in working capital through its Accelerator. By providing capital, coaching, and connections, we are fueling the fastest-growing demographic of business owners. Our network has engaged with over 47,000 advocates through its digital community and in-person activations.

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Now– meet the winners!

$500 Grant Winners:

 

Kenya Johnson

About Heavy Brain Marketing & Consulting

We are in the business of upskilling entrepreneurs that run small to medium businesses. We take skills that are required in today’s digital age such as video production, editing, and marketing analysis to amplify the reach and influence of our clients to increase success towards their business goals. By having a uniquely created streamlined process that cohesively links structuring their business foundation and content development, we are able to cater to each of our client’s individual needs for the purpose of digital marketing.

Learn more at https://www.heavy-brain.com.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

I have a history of working with a number of small businesses and start-ups that did not have the budget to invest in a full marketing team. Working with these businesses, I noticed that they all lacked a streamlined process for how they wanted to manage their marketing and how it connected to their ideal clients and target audiences. With their struggles in mind, I was inspired to create solutions that could help other small businesses succeed without the headache of not having any strategy or direction with their marketing.

Sadaf Sajwani

About Games and Learning, Inc

Games and Learning, Inc advances digital media to improve the lives of children. With support from the National Science Foundation, we are launching a new platform at www.gamesandlearning.co to make it easier for parents and teachers to find and buy high-quality digital learning content that benefits kids. In addition, we curate and distribute web-based games and other interactive tools, with discounted access for kids in need.

We support 30 million children living in low-income families by providing transformative learning experiences accessible across all devices and at lower prices for Title I students.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

“While researching supply and demand for game-based learning and reporting on key barriers facing the industry, our team found that educators and parents cannot find the digital learning tools that will benefit their children, and evidence-based digital learning producers struggle to reach a wide audience. The “needle in a haystack” challenge of existing platforms results in students missing out on potentially life-changing tools and many impact-driven developers facing bankruptcy. Leaders in the field—from digital learning providers to education researchers, to social impact investors—encouraged us to solve this critical problem of distribution.

Particularly in this year of remote learning, we see both an urgent need and an opportunity. Districts have distributed millions of devices to kids who need them, and hundreds of thousands of families have been given free hotspots for WiFi. This shift towards 1:1 devices, the discussions around blended learning, and the involvement of parents in media choices all have the potential to add up to a significant impact.

My co-founder and I are both moms to young girls, so we personally live the challenge of finding great apps for kids. And despite the significant challenges of building a socially responsible company, we hope we can set an example for our daughters and their own (eventual) career goals.”

Adrian Whiteside

About Rugged Past Righteous Future

Rugged Past Righteous Future is a new nonprofit whose mission is to be relentless in our quest to provide services and resources to newly released individuals in our communities. Located in Gwinnett County, GA, our goal is to make sure people released from prison in our county have a fair second chance at life.

We have 3 core programs designed to help these individuals cope in today’s society:

1) Career Development and Job Placement, to help them find work and the skills to keep it.

2) Convicted Parents Program, to help reunite Ex-felons with their child(ren) and give them a place to decompress with peers who can relate.

3) Project Payback. a program for the community and giving back to it. Inmates sentenced to community service or work release programs will help in the community with whatever is currently needed.

Learn more at https://www.ruggedpastrighteousfuture.com.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

I started this business because I was once incarcerated.  I knew how beneficial it would have been to me and my family if I’d had an organization like this when I was returning home. I got the inspiration from my past: I wanted a fair second chance at life and a righteous future. So I created Rugged Past Righteous Future to help others that are going through what I once did.

Kristen Lucas

About The Well: Community for Women

The Well is a nonprofit community for all women. It provides workspace, events for the community, and women’s businesses all with childcare included! Our customers are primarily working from home moms who either work remotely for a company or are building their own business. We also support 6 other nonprofits that have women coming out of (trauma i.e. sex trafficking, pregnancy-safe house, or crisis situations) who can utilize any of our services, attend an event, or be teamed with a mentor through our scholarship program.

Learn more at https://twcfw.org.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

I needed this business! Three years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and was in search of a place where I could pursue my online teaching job.  But I kept having sitters cancel on me. It was very frustrating and I couldn’t figure out why no one had created something like this. We decided to make it a nonprofit so we could keep it affordable for most and exclusively for women.

Tracy Taylor

About My Kitty’s Palace

My Kitty’s Palace is a small rapidly growing home-based business of natural skin products for men and women of color. Each product is personally curated and practically every ingredient can be found in the kitchen.

Learn more and follow her on instagram here.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

My grandmother inspired my brand. She preached to us all day about taking care of our skin. She and I made lavender lye soap together, so I’ve been doing it for a long time. I enjoy it and everyone that has purchased from me loves that product.  I am ready to become a business owner and spend more time with my family by bringing some of them on to my team, so I am going to go for it.  I don’t ever want to regret not trying.

Drumroll please….

$5,000 Grant Winner

 

Charmaine Kalpen

About Status Alert for Emergency, LLC

SAFE SMS Software is a fully integrated solution, built with a strong digital and user-friendly infrastructure. The app enables quick and easy communication using four alert levels and panic button digital tools to communicate important safety statuses to 10 SAFE trusted contacts, with 2-in-1 functionality – pre-recorded SMS texts and real-time GPS location.  This sends loved ones and friends a rapid response during an emergency to let them know that either you are safe or that you need help.

The application was also designed to enhance the schoolwide day-to-day operations to assist school personnel in disseminating information to internal and external sources and help first responders access to current real-time GPS location and safety status’ in emergency situations. In addition, it provides a more effective and efficient response system between administration, parents, and everyday users during any crisis situation.

Learn more at https://safesmsapp.com/.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

The inspiration came during an intense and unpleasant experience of being locked in a classroom closet, a “safe space” during a gun threat at my school. For more than two hours I was locked down with students experiencing: anxiety, restlessness, claustrophobia, and distress. Since I was in distress and could not effectively communicate with the people that I love, the idea for Safe SMS was born.

“What about my student’s lives? What about my life?” I thought.

I saw how this event dramatically impacted the lives of students, parents, administrators, teachers, staff, loved ones, friends, partners in education, community liaisons, and businesses. I saw a dire need to provide a better way to communicate with family and loved ones during a threatening situation, thus providing peace of mind to everyone dealing with a crisis.

A year earlier this same school district suffered a dreadful event that shook the nation on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD), in Parkland, Florida. This tragedy took 17 innocent lives. My personal experience, coupled with the constant mandatory drills, and the all-too real feeling of threat when drills became an everyday reality as a teacher, were just some of what moved me to take action.

In addition, you can’t overlook the horrible threat of hurricanes each year in Florida. Especially ones like the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, that took so many lives. Families are still struggling to put closure to the loss, because the whereabouts of their loved ones’ remains are still unknown.  Events like these are a constant reminder that SAFE SMS is the innovative and ideal communication solution.

Congratulations!

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