Archive for the ‘ Grant Recipients’ Category

Amber Grant Awarded to Green Duck Compostables, LLC

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

We are pleased to announce the December 2009 Amber Grant Recipient is Green Duck Compostables, LLC, owned and operated by Jocelyn Tice of Williamsburg, Virginia. The company’s website is sells compostable and biodegradable packaging. I know, it isn’t going to make you thinner or arrange your weekend plans for you — but this is our planet we’re talking about. And we have to live here for a long time!

This decision was not difficult. After you read further and visit Jocelyn’s site, you too will feel grateful that she and her Mom have started this business. They sell a product that can help (literally) the entire planet.

When asked why she started the business, Jocelyn noted, “I want to improve the quality of not only my life, but the lives of other women who may work for me now and in the future. Also, I am environmentally aware that the earth needs fewer landfills and more people who are willing to use compostable products that will not become part of a land fill. We need to protect mother earth by composting every bit of food waste and garden waste to which we can add the products that I promote in my business: compostable clam-shells, cutlery, plates, cups, and soup bowls as well as bags of every size.”

About Green Duck Compostables, LLC:

Jocelyn visited colleges, restaurants, government facilities, grocery stores, and private clubs, such as country clubs, to promote the use of compostable packaging.

A year ago, she wrote a business plan that won an award in Richmond, Virginia, and was recognized by the Virginia Museum Business community; the specifies that the products marketed are ONLY products that will contribute to the health of the earth as they degrade into compost.

When asked what Green Duck Compostables would do with the Amber Grant:

“I will use the funds to support the marketing and advertising part of the business because I have not yet been able to advertise (except for seminars, meetings, college speaking engagements, and word-of-mouth). I would like to be able to go to more events where people can see and use my products so that they can become accustomed to them. I would like to be able to buy advertising in the local newspaper to make more people aware of compostable products.”

I think that Jocelyn’s quote below will make us all think a little further. “The project is close to my heart because I want to not only make the earth healthier for people, but for animals. The name of the company was born from an experience with a duck that had plastic wrapped around its bill, so that it could not eat properly. This company represents my purpose in life and my driving force: to do my best to change the world so that it is safer and healthier for all animals, all humans, all of our environment.”

Additional Questions that had for Jocelyn:

How has the public responded to your product once they are told about it? “The public has responded in a very positive way. Most of the people I speak with about the product did not know compostable packaging exists and the importance of it. Currently, approximately 6% of what is in the landfill is to-go packaging…it seems like a small number, but in reality, it adds up. Once people learn the facts about how much waste is created as a result of to-go food consumption they wonder why we are still using petroleum to make plastic and Styrofoam.”

What is the cost difference of these products and non-biodegradable products. Is the perception that these products will cost more? “The biodegradable/compostable products made from plants do cost more…they cost about 25% more than traditional petroleum-based plastic and Styrofoam. I have found that restaurant owners and facility managers who are interested in doing the right thing related to the environment don’t mind the 25% increase and find it a wise investment towards a cleaner future. “ agrees with those restaurant owners and facility mangers, this is the right thing to do. We wish Jocelyn and the best of success, FOR all of us.

Internship Academy of Michigan receives $500 Womensnet Amber Grant

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Ellen Tilly and Deborah Schneider of Auburn Hills, Michigan, founders of Internship Academy (, were awarded a $500 Amber Grant from on September 30th. awards quarterly Amber Grants of $500 to women in the process of starting or expanding their own businesses. Grant funds may be used to cover start-up expenses, such as buying or upgrading equipment, hiring consultants and advisors, joining professional organizations, or paying for advertising and marketing efforts.

Tilly and Schneider’s inspiration and desire to start a new business were spawned by experience. As parents of college students, they saw firsthand their children’s frustration in choosing a meaningful major and consequent career path. Tilly stated, “As we were discussing ways to reach out to the young college group, our community was overrun with layoffs and adults needing to rethink their career paths.” After reading an article in the “Wall Street Journal” about a company that did all the legwork for student job searches, Tilly and Schneider felt “there is a greater benefit to learning how to go about a job search and then pursuing an internship to clarify a career direction.” was impressed with the Internship Academies focus on teaching students how to write a resume, write a cover letter, prepare for an interview, and search for prospective employers. Along with their focus on college students, Internship Academies is also committed to assist “career changers” by identifying job skills, and how those skills can be desirable in another industry.

Tilly and Schneider gave an example of a student who recently benefited from Internship Academy: “This past summer we had two young men go through our program at about the same time. The first was a soon to graduate college senior. This young man was getting his degree in Human Resource Development and had no relevant experience. We placed him in an internship with a staffing and recruiting firm. Not only did he find the on the job experience beneficial but he told us the job search classes really helped him find his focus. Our other student was a first year college student that had already changed his major three times. While not unusual for a student at this level, this young man had an idea of what he would like to do as a career he just wasn’t sure what training that job required. After spending time with our career counselor he was better able to identify what his career choice would look like and we were able to place him in an internship with a waste management company. This proved to be the course he had in mind and he returned to his campus knowing that he really wanted to major in environmental engineering.”

With the $500 grant, Internship Academy plans to promote their program to more college and career changer applicants through promotional materials, their website

Urban Escapes Receives $500 Grant

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Maia Josebachvili of New York City will use her $500 grant to pursue publicity

FAIRPORT, N.Y., July 17—Maia Josebachvili of New York, New York, founder and president of Urban Escapes ( was awarded a $500 Amber grant from on June 30th. awards quarterly Amber grants of $500 to women in the process of starting or expanding their own businesses. Grant funds may be used to cover start-up expenses, such as buying or upgrading equipment, hiring consultants and advisors, joining professional organizations, or paying for advertising and marketing efforts.
Maia Josebachvili founded Urban Escapes in 2008 to offer New Yorkers the opportunity to escape the concrete jungle and explore actual jungles, among other places. Soon after start-up, she added jaunts to places well beyond the island of Manhattan, including exotic trips to Mexico, Costa Rica and New Zealand. The company’s revenues have been doubling each quarter since inception.
However, Josebachvili aims for even more growth. With her $500 grant, Josebachvili will hire a publicist to help create a media kit and spread the word about Urban Escapes’ affordable travel opportunities.
“We loved Maia’s concept and track record,” says Christina Lambert, chief operating officer of “Urban Escapes has grown exponentially in its first year of business and we’d like to help her reach her goal of tripling her revenue this coming year.”
Since its launch in 1998, has served as an online business community for women interested in starting and growing their own businesses. Each quarter, a $500 grant is awarded to a deserving woman in the process of starting a business. The Amber grant is named in memory of the founder’s sister. Women interested in applying for an Amber grant may do so at The only requirement is that they be a member of the community, which is free. To register, go to

New Yorker Wins Special Amber Grant for her Ethiopian Clothing Line

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Meki Adefris of Brooklyn, New York, was awarded a special $1,000 Amber grant from on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, live in New York City on May 7th.

Meki is in the process of starting Me & Lu (, a line of children’s clothing fashioned after traditional Ethiopian dress. Her first-year line will consist of three dresses and a traditional tunic top based on Ethiopian styles, “but more modern and fashion conscious,” she says.

She will use her grant to pay for patterns and samples to be created and to pay for a trip to Ethiopia this summer to meet with suppliers. All of the clothing will be made in Ethiopia by local artisans, providing fair wages for the work. Congratulations, Meki!

Grant Success Tip
One way to improve your odds of landing a grant is to consider all your options. Don’t immediately dismiss grant opportunities you discover because they don’t exactly fit your current needs. Instead, explore how you can turn that grant into your solution.

For example, if you’ve been searching for a grant to cover the purchase of some new equipment for your business and along the way you find one that provides employee training, don’t reject it because it’s not an exact match with your needs. Instead, investigate whether there is a way you could reallocate budgeted training funds to help cover the cost of the equipment. In other words, if you find a grant that can replace what you’re currently spending somewhere else, you may be able to free up some cash to help where you need it most. Don’t pass up any grant for which you qualify – you never know what new doors it may open for your business.

You’re the First to Know will be introducing a valuable new business finance tool in early July that will help make it possible for you to start your new business now, not later. While grants are wonderful, they can take forever to find and apply for. And if you’re eager to start your new business, our new ebook, Beyond Grants, will fill you in on all you need to know about grant alternatives. In fact, we cover eight other places you can turn to for the money you need to get started. Stay tuned for more details.

Stationery Designer is Latest $500 Grant Recipient

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Stationery Designer is Latest Grant Recipient Andrea Sholders of Virginia Will Use $500 Grant to Buy Photography Equipment

Fairport, N.Y. (PRWEB) May 6, 2009 — ( today announced the latest recipient of its Amber grant, given quarterly to women in the process of starting or expanding their own businesses. Grant funds of $500 may be used to cover start-up expenses, such as buying or upgrading equipment, hiring consultants and advisors, joining professional organizations, or paying for advertising and marketing efforts.

Andrea Sholders of Manassas, Virginia, who runs Invitations by Design ( (, was selected as the first winner of 2009. Sholders established her business in 2005 after experiencing difficulty in finding just the right invitation for her own wedding. Soon after, friends and family began hiring her to design their stationery and invitations as well. In 2008, she added photography to the mix to further personalize each design. Now clients can include a photo of their newborn on a birth announcement or a couple’s engagement photo on a wedding announcement she designs, for example.