Meki Adefris, Ethiopian fashion designer
Grant Recipient

June 11, 2009

New Yorker Wins Special Amber Grant for her Ethiopian Clothing Line

Me & Lu

Woman Entrepreneur:
Meki Adefris

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.

WNN Blog Get application & business ideas on the WomensNet blog »

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.”