|(ATLANTA, GA) – May 17, 2021 – EnrichHER, the only digital platform that connects women and founders of color to capital, is pleased to announce the finalists and winner of April’s EnrichHER Small Business Grant contest:|
Charmaine Kalpen – Status Alert for Emergency, LLC – WinnerKenya Johnson – Heavy Brain Media and Consulting Kristen Lucas – The Well: Community for Women Adrian Whiteside – Rugged Past, Righteous Future Sadaf Sajwani – Games and Learning, IncTracy Taylor – My Kitty’s Palace
These businesses were chosen out of over 500 entries and were evaluated based on need, their business idea and pitch. The winner receives a $5,000 grant; the finalists are awarded $500 and a scholarship to the EnrichHER Business Accelerator Program, a five-week training series that coaches participants on how to raise funds for their businesses.
This is the fifth round of the EnrichHER Small Business Grant, an initiative designed not only to support the various operations needs of diverse entrepreneurs, but to equip them with knowledge and educational resources to access future financing.
Since launching in 2017, EnrichHER has helped 163 companies connect with over $14M in funding. They continue their mission of ensuring the success of the next generation of business owners by partnering with corporate brands, foundations and individual funders who are committed to putting their capital in the hands of highly-qualified companies.
Visit enrichher.com for information about how we are funding the future of business.
Read more about the grant finalists below:
|Charmaine Kalpen – Status Alert for Emergency, LLCSAFE 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.|
|The application was also designed to enhance the day-to-day operations of schools, assist school personnel in disseminating information to internal and external sources, and help first responders get access to real-time GPS location and safety status’ in emergency situations.|
Her Inspiration: “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.
|Kenya Johnson- Heavy Brain Media and Consulting We at Heavy Brain Media and Consulting are in the business of upskilling entrepreneurs that run small to medium businesses. We use 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 and help them meet their business goals. By having a streamlined process that links their business foundation with their content development, we are able to cater to each of our client’s individual digital marketing needs.|
|Her Inspiration: “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 connect with 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.”|
|Kristen Lucas- The Well: Community for Women The Well is a nonprofit community for all women. It provides workspace, childcare and events for the community and women-owned businesses. The Well also supports six other nonprofits that help women who are coming out of trauma (i.e. sex trafficking, pregnancy safe house, etc) or crisis. These women have access to all of our services. They can attend our events or be teamed with a mentor through our scholarship program.|
|Her Inspiration: “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 non-profit so we could keep it affordable and exclusively for women.”|
|Adrian Whiteside- Rugged Past, Righteous Future Rugged Past Righteous Future is a non-profit organization in Gwinnett County, GA. RPRF’s mission is to be relentless in our quest to provide services and resources to newly-released individuals in our communities. 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: Career Development and Job Placement to help them find work and the skills to keep a job.|
|The Convicted Parents program helps reunite ex-felons with their child(ren) and gives them a place to vent with peers who can relate. The Project Payback program allows inmates sentenced to community service or work release programs to give back to the community with whatever is needed.|
His Inspiration: “I started this business because I was once incarcerated. I knew if I had an organization like this when I was returning home, it would be beneficial to me and my family. 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.”
|Sadaf Sajwani – 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.|
Her Inspiration: “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.”
|Tracy Taylor- My Kitty’s PalaceMy Kitty’s Palace is a small rapidly growing home-based business of natural skin products for men and women of color. The company offers items such as goat milk soap, whipped body butters and body scrubs. Each product is personally curated and practically every ingredient can be found in the kitchen. Her Inspiration: “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.”|