Meet the Winners of EnrichHER’s $500 Small Business Grant July 2021

EnrichHER is proud to fund underinvested women, founders of color, and other underrepresented business owners so they can create products and services that better reflect the input of the people they serve and continue enriching their communities.

Prizes on Prizes on Prizes

We’ve announced the winner of EnrichHER’s $5,000 grant, but there are 6 more applicants who will each receive a $500 grant to accelerate their growth. Each $500 grant winner will also receive a scholarship to EnrichHER’s Business Financing Accelerator, which trains diverse founders to connect to over $100,000 in funding through grants, loans, venture capitalists, pitch competitions, and other untapped sources of capital.

A new $500 Small Business Grant winner will be announced here every (week)day through August 5th, so keep checking back for updates.

Want to Accelerate Your Financial Success?

Don’t see your name here? You can still join EnrichHER’s Business Financing Accelerator. The program gives founders like you the training to secure critical funding for their business and expedite growth while plugging them into a community of likeminded entrepreneurs who can open new doors to opportunity.

The next cohort begins August 3rd, 2021. Click here to learn more and enroll.

Looking for Other Grants and Funding For Your Small Business?

Our newsletter will save you valuable time by cutting out 90% of your weekly search, bringing $50,000 in funding opportunities and connecting you to experts excited to share advice that helps you  reach more customers. Subscribe here.

Now, meet the winners!

$500 Small Business Grant Winners

 

Leslie Andrews

About Leslie Andrews Photography

My purpose is to shape culture and and change the the world for the better. My whole mission is inspiring and uplifting other women and helping them achieve greatness.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

Almost 17 years ago, I was a single mother and recently laid off from my corporate job. I had a long discussion with my manager, who sat down with me and told me that I should pursue photography as a career. He wanted to let me know that he saw a spark in me whenever I discussed my love of photography with him.

I had honestly never thought about being a business owner. But this discussion made me realize that anything is possible. That is when I began my journey. I went to school and received a degree in photography, but it took me many years of trial and error to establish a successful business. I find inspiration for my brand in the eyes of my children as well as the desire to help other creatives discover their greatness.

Christina Quach

About Ellie & Becks Co.

Ellie & Becks is a premium inclusive toys and furniture company for the mindful, modern family. From carefully curated dolls & books to custom-designed home goods, we aim to provide children with long lasting, whimsical pieces that inspire joy & beauty in your spaces.

Our custom designs are crafted in sustainable & renewable rattan, ethically sourced and handcrafted by skilled artisans around the globe. We aim to foster a sense of recognition and appreciation for different cultures, and showcase the way in which diversity enriches our lives. Our brand is about embracing uniqueness and striving to create a more beautiful & inclusive world.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

When my daughter was four, I came across an Asian doll online while shopping for her Christmas present. It was the first realistic, and beautiful ethnic baby doll I’d seen, and I immediately became obsessed with buying it for her. At the time, it was only available in Australia, and I had to order the doll, along with clothing and accessories, for her from a small shop in Australia.

I thought it was ridiculous that in the year 2019, it was the first time I’d ever come across a doll of a different race, and realized how much I longed to see toys or books that looked like me when I was a child. After a lot of research on the dolls and later rattan products, which I stumbled across while trying to find doll furniture, I decided to start a small shop and sell a few pieces that I couldn’t find here.

A few month later, it blossomed into a passion project to carry all of my favorite unique design-forward brands, inclusive toys and books that I had to scour the internet to find, and our own custom-designed pieces. I had no idea the response would be so amazing, and wasn’t prepared for the fast growth that followed. Now with a very rocky year under my belt, I’m ready to take control of our vision and run with the momentum that’s still building – to maximize our growth and really try to make waves and inspire change in the children’s retail world. My varied background at a digital ad agency, five years as a professional photographer, and 8 years as a mom, have culminated into what feels like the perfect experience to carry our brand forward.

Tangia Elieff

About Honor Your Emotions, Inc

Honor Your Emotions, (HYE) is a mental health and counseling agency that provides direct on-site and virtual mental health support for children, teens, individuals, families, and couples. We also provide on-site counseling services to students in the Alameda County school district in California.

In 2010, This business was created as a solo private practice offering mental health support to the community but expanded into a group private practice in 2017, due to the growing mental health needs in our country.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

HYE’s motto is “You can’t create a life of joy with a mind full of pain.” But mental health care for so many people was a luxury that most marginalized groups could not afford, did not have access to, and/or was misdiagnosed and mistreated from providers who simply did not look like or understand them.

And unfortunately, this is still true today. In fact, there are too many years of unaddressed pain in the Black community and an underwhelming number of Licensed professionals of color to meet this need. And this is what inspired me to create my agency.

I also wanted to create a space where other Professionals of color could be heard, seen, feel valued, appreciated and celebrated for their expertise. In this way, I hope that more people of color suffering from mental health issues would feel more comfortable seeking support and receiving the healing that is owed to them.

Maleeka Hollaway

About The Official Maleeka Group, LLC

As a full-service branding and PR agency, our clients span multiple industries and possess a plethora of skills. We combine our ingenuity and creative genius to help our clients look good in public and behind the scenes. We work with small business owners, entrepreneurs and C-Suite executives to support them in positioning themselves as industry thought-leaders.

We are the disruptors of the branding and public relations industry. Focusing on producing accelerated visibility and profitability results for small business owners, entrepreneurs and professional service providers, we are committed to the success and sustainability of our clients.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

I started my business after a divorce from an abusive marriage back in 2014. I was a single mother struggling to get my bachelor’s degree after I lost my full-ride scholarship. In order not to get stuck in a dark place, I threw myself into writing and editing for others then went on to share my personal story. Over the years, I changed lanes from only writing to brand communications and marketing and landed in PR by self-teaching. I started my company to stimulate the local economy through employment and to build a legacy for my family and my bloodline.

Rachel Martin

About Oceano Wines

Oceano Wines is a Central Coast California winery dedicated to crafting vibrant, refreshing, lower alcohol Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from purely coastal and sustainable vineyards, leading a new category of wine sought by consumers yet missing in the marketplace. Our winery is co-founded and co-owned by me and my husband, Kurt Deutsch.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

I worked as Executive VP for my stepfather’s winery, Boxwood Winery, from its 2001 inception. Equity in the company was not an option, so I was open to change.

In 2016, I visited Spanish Springs Vineyard by invitation of Henry Warshaw, owner and family friend. As soon as I set foot on the vineyard, I knew my future was there before me. Inspired by the geography, topography, climate, soils and plant material, I verbally contracted for 6 tons of chardonnay and later pinot noir. I had a vision of what I could create: a wine style the market wanted but was impossible to find. I could taste the wine in my mind. I returned to Virginia, formed an LLC, hired our winemaker, and have never looked back.

We named our winery Oceano Wines because of the vineyard’s proximity to the ocean and after the nearby town Oceano, one of the original five cities of San Luis Obispo. The Seahorses on our label are cute, but there is more to it than that. In 2015, Kurt and I spotted a seahorse on a family scuba excursion, a true rarity. Seahorses mate for life, and it is the male that carries the babies and gives birth to them. This loving creature seemed like a perfect analogy, and so the seahorse became a symbol of our deep connection.

Shirley Dorsainvil

About Haitians Who Blog

Haitians Who Blog is an award-winning digital media platform working to amplify the voice of Haitian creatives. Launched in 2017, Haitians Who Blog is one of the first platforms highlighting the beauty of Haiti and, more importantly, the creatives who uplift the culture.

Haitians Who Blog is an award-winning media platform that shines a spotlight on influential, accomplished Haitian creatives. Using the power of content and community, we inspire Haitian creatives to succeed. We are fostering an online platform that provides access to capital, mentorship, resources, and community.

What Inspired You to Start This Business?

In 2017, I began my career as a freelance writer and felt alone as a Haitian creative. Seeking like-minded peers to network and seek mentorship, I created Haitians Who Blog. Inspired by brands like Caribbean girls who blog and Blacks who blog, I wanted to create a community for an ethnic group that did not possess the resources to go into creative industries.

In 2017, we assisted bloggers, podcasters, and journalists; now, we are helping all creatives find like-minded peers, find job opportunities and partnership requests, gain exposure, and strengthen their brands.

About EnrichHER:

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 23,000 advocates through its digital community and in-person activations.

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