WomensNet News

Lessons Learned from Amber Grant Winners – February 2020

February 14th 2020

Since our goal is to help women entrepreneurs start, run, and grow successful businesses, we decided to ask past Amber Grant winners for advice they would want to share with you.

Here are some words of wisdom straight from them:

Develop a business plan

“A great product (or service) is only one ingredient in the recipe for a successful business. Take time to develop your business and financial plan prior to launching. You must have a well thought out and scalable business infrastructure to grow. This said, theory never translates exactly to practice. Once you launch, be sure to evaluate your execution and pivot as needed!”

Rebecca Scott, founder, Sustainable Snacks


Don’t get too attached to your ideas

“If I could offer one solid tip to anyone starting or planning to start a business, it would be to always…ALWAYS keep an open mind. You may think this is common sense and obvious, but not everyone actually does it. Sometimes it’s difficult to admit that your idea just isn’t working. I’m not necessarily talking about your main business idea. I’m referring to the everyday smaller ideas and decisions that are more important than you might think. Changes and modifications of your ideas and plans, both big and small, are crucial and necessary when you are building something from the ground. We need to have the ability to recognize the difference between when an idea needs time to simmer, when it needs change or modification and maybe most importantly, when something simply is NOT working. I have learned that sometimes we come up with something that we as individuals think is a million-dollar idea and we get very emotionally attached to that idea and how we think it needs to be executed. Our target customers or clients may not feel the same way. I have seen emotional attachment to specific details be the very thing that causes a good business plan to not work. Always be aware that there are so many ways to accomplish any given thing. Be open to them all. Pay close attention to what works and take notes. Recognize what is not catching on and do more of what is, cutting the waste loose. Be open-minded and flexible. Listen to your customers and your staff if you have one. And if that genius idea that you came up with just isn’t getting off the ground, let it go and replace it with more genius. This is an ongoing process that I utilize every day and its effectiveness has been life-saving.”

Elena Mascherino, founder and chef, Love Again Local


Plan your days

“My best entrepreneurial tip is to create daily agendas for yourself to help manage your workload and also provide that time you need to relax and refuel yourself. Entrepreneurship gets lonely and sometimes it’s difficult to motivate ourselves. I’ve learned that planning a daily schedule gives guidance to my actions during the day and helps motivate me to get work done in manageable parts.”

Tina Degano, founder, Sugarless


Find a mentor

“Building relationships is the cornerstone of success-with yourself personally and with others professionally. I value relationships so much that it’s one of my company’s (Noomi) core values. Interestingly, when I first began my Noomi journey, it was the unplanned mentorship of an executive chef who believed in me, encouraged me, and challenged me, that really supported me through the launch of my product. And I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

I genuinely believe in the power of mentorships too, so find someone who can really push you in a constructive and inspiring way. Someone who echoes your passion and enthusiasm and motivates you to think differently, to be better, and to dream bigger. Network with others, ask questions, start the conversations, and leave the conversations with even more questions than you started with. Soak up as much industry knowledge as you can, and leverage it to help you understand how to establish your business, set SMART goals and successfully grow.

People are always willing to help you along the way, and in many cases, have been in your shoes at one point; meaning, they want to pay it forward and help if they are able to. So put yourself out there, expand your network every day, and build and nurture every relationship. You’ll be surprised who you meet, who they may know, how they can help you, and what you can achieve together as a result.”

Krystina L. Murawski, owner and founder, Noomi


Network to forge relationships

“My advice for other female business owners is to get involved in a wide variety of community events and seek out networking opportunities. It’s not always about what will get achieved by attending/ joining conferences, or small business organizations (local or national), but often the people that you meet and connections you build can have the greatest impact on your personal and business growth.”

Kristen Moffatt, founder, Wasatch Nectar

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What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”