Photo Credit: August 2019 Amber Grant Winner - Kateboards
In 1998, WomensNet founded the Amber Grant. One of the very first online organizations to give women-owned business grants, the Amber Grant was set up to honor the memory of Amber Wigdahl. She was a special young woman who died at just 19 years old, before realizing her business dreams.
We’ve carried on that tradition by giving away a $10,000 Amber Grant every month to a woman entrepreneur… And by giving away an additional annual $25,000 Amber Grant to one of the preceding 12 monthly Amber Grant winners.
We also give away another $10,000 grant every month to a “Business Category” entrepreneur. Those 12 categories can include anything from fashion designers, to restaurant owners, to health and wellness practitioners, to hair product business owners.
Starting in 2022, we’ll also give one of those monthly “Business Category” recipients an additional $25,000 Year End Grant.
Beyond awarding women’s business grants, we are a community of entrepreneurial women who create unique content and reports to help other women business owners. On occasion, we even consult or give personalized business advice to our community members.
Marcia is a bestselling author and freelance writer who also founded the Association of Ghostwriters. She is the author, co-author, or ghostwriter of more than 55 business books, including the Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business, which was named a “Business Book of the Year” when it was published.
Her book Kmart’s Ten Deadly Sins is used in business school courses and the Unofficial Guide to Marketing Your Small Business won an APEX Award for content. Her award-winning work has appeared in Inc., Fast Company, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, and Black Enterprise, among many others. Online you can find her work at US News & World Report, CNNMoney, and Forbes, where she is a regular contributor. She earned her MBA from the University of Michigan.
Yama’s career experiences includes a dual role at the United Way. She was both a Program Officer for disability funded programs, as well as Coordinator of the Latino Leadership Development Program. In this capacity, Yama had the opportunity to understand resource development and program funding.
She also served as Curriculum Development Specialist for Rural Opportunities, a role in which she partnered with the CDC to research and make recommendations for the adaptation and tailoring of several evidenced based behavioral interventions for rural migrant populations. Her interest in supporting women’s initiatives has also taken her internationally, working with HIV positive women in a shelter in Lima, Peru, and in an agricultural community in Costa Rica. She holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling Education from SUNY Brockport.
Cindy is a “first generation” American who was born to two immigrant parents who left Europe after WW2 (one from Italy and one from Yugoslavia). She retired after 30-plus years in the workforce, 23 of which were in higher education as an Executive Assistant.
She describes that as “making things happen, building and sustaining relationships” noting that “attitude is everything.” Her credentials include Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credential from IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals). Cindy serves as our part-time multitasker extraordinaire.
Peninah was born in beautiful Kenya. Professionally, she has a background in both business and banking. She serves WomensNet in an advisory capacity, reviewing applications to help us determine the Amber Grant monthly recipients (as well as the year end $25,000 winner).