Grant Recipient

March 19, 2024

February 2024 Startup Grant Awarded to JTP math

JTP math

Woman Entrepreneur:
Jasmine Burns

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Vote for her to receive this year's $25,000 grant!

We’re excited to announce the $10,000 Startup Grant recipient for February 2024. Congratulations to Jasmine Banks, founder of JTP Math.

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Marcia Layton Turner sat down with Jasmine for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript

WomensNet: Hello everyone, and welcome to our conversation with our grant winners for February, 2024.

Today we have the pleasure of chatting with Jasmine Burns of JTP Math, who’s our Startup Grant winner.

For anyone who may not have heard, at the end of 2023, WomensNet decided to increase the number of $10,000 grants that we give. So we went from one to three. The Startup Grant is for entrepreneurs who are in the idea phase of developing their business, or who’ve started, but haven’t yet hit $10,000 in total sales.

I’m Marcia Layton Turner. I’m one of several WomensNet Advisory Board members, and I have the great pleasure of speaking with these fabulous women business owners. So thank you all so much for making time to chat with me today.

Let’s start at the beginning and have each one of you tell everybody a little bit about your company and how you came up with the idea.

Jasmine: Hi, I’m Jasmine. My company is JTP Math. When I was in high school, there was this website called Khan Academy — you guys have probably heard of it. But back then Khan Academy used to only teach calculus, and that’s when I used it.

And so this was what, 15 years ago or so? And it exploded to this company that does everything. Now you can study for the LSAT, you can do physics, chemistry, computer science, et cetera. Well, I like that idea of having education available to everyone no matter what. Especially people that wanna learn higher level mathematics, but may not ever go to graduate school, may not ever want to even go to graduate school. And I wanted to communicate that with a wider audience.

And so last December, there was a woman who had posted on Facebook that she needed help with a statistics course. She was about my age; she’s doing a business degree. She had never really taken stats and she said that she was failing the class and she was about to just leave her whole program entirely. And so I worked with her for three weeks and we got her from failing to actually an A in the class by the end of the semester.

I was even surprised ’cause we were working pretty hard. And so I thought, okay, well she’s not the only one like this, right? There are tons of people like this. Maybe I can help more people if I make it available to more people. And instead of just doing it locally, let’s do what Khan Academy did. Let’s put it out on the web, available for anyone. And so that was my motivation behind it.

WomensNet: Awesome. Wow. Yeah, I could have used your help on stats…

So many business owners hear about the importance of writing a business plan when you’re thinking through, you know, what is my company? Who am I gonna market to? How am I gonna market to them? But some people think that you only need them when you go for financing. So I know not all business owners create them. Did you put together any kind of formal business plan as you were thinking about your company and what you wanted to do?

Jasmine: I don’t know if it’s technically a business plan, but when I was in graduate school, every time I had a class, I took down the notes for the lectures, deliberately. And I always thought, okay, once I learn this material, I’m gonna package it into my own set of courses, and then I’m gonna shoot those out on video.

So I have this digital notebook of every lecture that I’ve taken categorized by subject with every problem that I want the students to look at with examples. And I’ve been doing that for the last four years. I don’t know if that’s a business plan. I also thought okay, if I’m gonna provide goods and services, I want to provide products that I don’t have to worry about cost of supplies. And I thought, okay, well, knowledge is like the most easily transferable product I could produce. And so that’s why I really wanted it to be digital.

WomensNet: When I think of a business plan, it’s generally ‘how am I gonna run this company?’ So I think so far, you’ve talked about sort of an operating plan. What’s my focus for the year? How am I gonna do what I’m doing? I think those are pieces.

So let’s talk about how you’re spreading the word about your company. So now you have it up and running to various degrees based on how long you’ve been in business. What are some of the most effective strategies you’ve found to let other people know about your business? And Jasmine, I’m gonna start with you, but I know that since you’re just getting started, maybe you haven’t done a lot of this, but have you done any kind of marketing?

Jasmine: What I’ve done locally is just word of mouth. Like I said, the client that I had last December, I helped her with her stats class, she told her friend who’s taking the same class to come to me. So I’ve just been doing local things.

I started my design for business cards to hand out. When it comes to like digital marketing, I’ve I’ve noticed that TikTok, I know this is kind of like new generation, but TikTok has the fastest growing rate in terms of following and digital marketing that I’ve noticed. So I really wanna put videos on TikTok, as a tool.

WomensNet: I think there are so many things that you could do. I think Instagram too, you could develop a real following, just working through a problem even. ‘Hey, are you in stats? Have you encountered this problem in your homework? I’ll walk you through it…”

And just show them. You probably wanna narrow down to what courses you wanna be coaching on, because any kind of math class is too broad.

Well, I’m sure that you could think of a number of things that you’ve learned along the way, but if you had to pick one, what would be one lesson that you’ve learned that you think other women business owners might find useful?

Jasmine: Have faith in yourself, which is similar to [being patient with yourself]. It is more about believing in things you can’t see. And just knowing that if you have an idea, really push through it because there’s a reason you have that idea and it’s not for nothing. So I think that’s really an important one. Also, if you ever need help with business costs, JTP Math is right here for you.

WomensNet: I love it…very smart!

So, as we’re sharing this with the WomensNet community, which consists of other women business owners, what’s one thing that members of our community can do to support you? Lisa, let’s start with you. What can they do? Come to your website, sign up for a newsletter, what would be useful?

Jasmine: Like and share [the page] on Facebook @JTPMath. Facebook would be the best way to just initiate everything, this whole word of mouth strategy that I have going on. If you have friends, children, anyone who needs help, just like, and share on Facebook. We’re established there.

WomensNet: Well, thank you all so much for giving me your time today and talking about your business. It’s been so fascinating and always fun to hear about our winners. And congratulations again for being our February Startup grant award winner.

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