As we kick off the New Year, we can’t help but take a look back. As we reflect on the past two years at WomensNet.net, we get even more excited about what’s to come. It’s an incredible cycle.
2013 introduced us to some brilliant emerging small businesses and thousands of bright hardworking women entrepreneurs.
We were able to give out more than a dozen small business grants and truth be told, selecting a recipient has become increasingly more difficult – but only because there are so many worthy endeavors to choose from.
We wanted to share 10 of the grant winners who have inspired us over this past year because we know they’ll do the same for you.
Founder(s): Eliza Becton
What they do: The ReFresh 2-way water vending kiosk filters, flavors, carbonates, and bottles water at the point of dispense, instead of in a bottling plant, cutting out operators’ variable costs and reducing CO2 emissions by 80%.
Business: Dsg.nr (“Designer”)
Founder(s): Nancy Quan
What they do: Dsg.nr is a low-cost way for small interior design businesses to collaborate with clients, vendors, specialists, CAD artists, and everyone else. Think of it as a cross between Pinterest, Houzz, and Polyvore for millions of independent designers, craftspeople, contractors, students, and individuals who are decorating on a budget.
Business: Go Go Games
Founder(s): Alexis Hiniker
What they do: Go Go Games is an award-winning suite of iPad games designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) learn to quickly notice multiple features of the objects in the world around them. All of the games are grounded in Pivotal Response Therapy, a behavioral intervention known to have broad benefits.
Business: Nighty Night Nursing Light
Founder(s): April Lowell and Patricia Gilbert
What they do: NNNL is a one-of-a-kind safety product for breastfeeding moms designed to help make nighttime feedings easier and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Business: Build & Imagine
Founder(s): Laurie Peterson
What they do: Build & Imagine is developing a line of constructible play-sets that girls (and boys!) love. They’re putting the child in the role of designer and architect, and providing a launching pad for imaginative play that helps to build the spatial and design skills needed to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Business: Tillie Polish
Founder(s): Andrea Matillano-Funkhouser and her 2 sisters Amber and Alexa Matillano
What they do: Tillie Polish is an organic, toxin-free nail polish start-up. The three founding sisters used their passion for trendy colors, a long-lasting formula, and toxic-free ingredients to create a fast drying opaque formula that they can share with other nail polish fanatics. Even better, customers can buy Tillie Polish with a clear conscience because all of their products are animal cruelty free and 4-Free, meaning they do not use the 4 main toxic ingredients found in other brands.
Founder(s): Laurie O’Nion
What they do: Kiddologic’s mission is to offer “the best of basics” – innovative products that are smart and practical solutions to the universal challenges of parenthood. Their core offering is the bibit-all http://www.kiddologic.com/shop/bibit-all/, a fashionable full-coverage bib that even has sleeves!
Business: Sitter Cycle
Founder(s): Helen Adeoson
What they do: SitterCycle provides online classes for nannies and caregivers to learn from the best experts in childcare.
Business: Stone’s Throw Urban Farm
Founder(s): Robin Major
What they do: Stone’s Throw Urban Farm is redefining local, sustainable food in the Twin Cities. They convert vacant lots in St. Paul and Minneapolis into beautiful, productive micro-farms and grow food for a CSA, farmers markets, and various local wholesale accounts.
Business: Cambria Equine
Founder(s): Hannah Rivard
What they do: Hannah teaches her self-developed, completely unique, unheard-of method of horse training through in-person services (ex., lessons, clinics, and seminars) as well as online. Her training is focused on empowering people to train horses intuitively, through beauty and joy, rather than generalized techniques. Her website caters to the artistic equestrian and even has a marketplace for people to buy and sell horse-related products.