CONGRATULATIONS!

The Urban League of Louisiana awarded a $10,000 growth capital prize to Kelsey Foreman of “Cake Face Soaping” at the 2018 Women-in-Business Challenge event held in conjunction with New Orleans Entrepreneur week.

To a panel of judges, in front of a crowd of approximately 200 attendees, Foreman delivered her winning pitch.   Her company, “Cake Face Soaping” is an all-natural vegan soap brand that provides an array of bath and skin care items made with pure ingredients and premium blends of therapeutic essential oils and superfoods. Ms. Foreman plans to use her $10,000 growth investment to help fulfill escalating demand for her products, including being recently named as the exclusive custom soap brand of Rouse’s Markets statewide.

THE 2018 PITCH CHALLENGE
The WIB Pitch Challenge will be held during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (http://noew.org), presented by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and produced by The Idea Village on:
DATE:  Wednesday, March 21, 2018
TIME:  3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
LOCATION:  New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113
During the event an esteemed panel of judges will be tasked with determining the winner based on effectiveness of the pitch presentation, scalability of the business model, and strategic use of award funds. A celebrated keynote speaker will also provide a motivational address prior to the announcement of the 2017 WIB Challenge winner.
THE FINALISTS
TEDRA CHANEY:  NOLA THERAPY ROOM
A full-service spa offering massage services and other relaxation treatments for men and women. NTR also offers special events like Date Night for couples and Ladies Night Retreats. They also offer an array of retail products. www.nolatherapyroom.com
KELSEY FOREMAN:  CAKE FACE SOAPING
An all-natural vegan soap brand that provides an array of bath and skin care items made with pure ingredients and premium blends of therapeutic essential oils and superfoods. www.cakefacesoaping.com
ANDREA MEJIA:  SENSA DESIGN
A residential construction firm specializing in the design and installation of kitchen and bath cabinets and countertops. Sensa’s projects include residential renovations, new construction, and remodels. www.sensadesignola.com
MICHELLE NORWOOD:  EXCLUSIVE EVENTS
A global events and concierge firm offering comprehensive production and management services for corporate and social events. Specializing in destination weddings, Michelle Norwood Weddings offers management, production, styling and branding for weddings. www.exclusiveevent.net
KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Miss Robbie Montgomery to Serve as Keynote for the 2018 Women In Business Challenge; The Entrepreneur and Sweetie Pie’s Matriarch to Also Host Book Signing on March 21

Miss Robbie Montgomery is the owner and resident matriarch of Sweetie Pie’s and Sweetie Pie’s at the Mangrove, the nationally acclaimed restaurants she founded in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, documented in the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network docu-series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”Known for her made-from-scratch favorites like macaroni & cheese, smothered pork, baked chicken and peach cobbler, Miss Robbie’s restaurants have attracted a popular following among both local St. Louis residents and celebrities alike.

Prior to running her own restaurants, Miss Robbie toured the U.S. singing backup  for Ike and Tina Turner during the 1960s. Her stint as an Ikette launched a singing career that spanned over 20 years, including gigs as a background singer for The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Pattie LaBelle and The Rolling Stones, among others.  Because finding a welcoming restaurant could be difficult for African-Americans during the ’60s, Miss Robbie often ended up cooking for the group while on the road, honing her mother’s recipes along the way.

When a collapsed lung ended Miss Robbie’s singing career, she returned to St. Louis to reinvent herself utilizing her other formidable talent – cooking. With the help of her son,Tim, she opened the first Sweetie Pie’s in 1996 and and Sweetie Pie’s: Upper Crust in 2012. Upper Crust now serves as the flagship location of the Sweetie Pie’s restaurants. The main dining room seats 150 guests and the banquet room seats 350. The outside patio area seats an additional 150 guests. Now 76, Miss Robbie is still going strong. Active in charity outreach programs, Miss Robbie helps provide job training to formerly incarcerated men and women and food to those in need.

Please join Miss Robbie after the pitch competition for a special “Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook” book signing session. Books will be available for sale onsite. Hardcover: $28, Paperback: $19. Books sold through Baton Rouge-based bookseller, Between the Lines Bookstore.
CHALLENGE  OVERVIEW
The Urban League of Louisiana’s annual Women-In-Business (WIB) Challenge is a 9-Module business accelerator program and pitch competition designed to empower female entrepreneurs with the education, tools, and resources needed to scale their businesses. For nine weeks, selected women business owners will participate in a comprehensive business education program, receive one-on-one technical assistance and counseling services, and be introduced to various resources to support their plans for growth. At the end of the accelerator program, four finalists will be selected to pitch their business plans for chance to win $10,000 in growth capital. The final pitch event will take place in March 2018 during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week hosted by The Idea Village.
CRITERIA
For consideration into the accelerator program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be owned and operated by women (51% or more)
  • Have at least $25,000 in annual verifiable revenue
  • Have been in business (operational) for at least 12 months
  • Have a minimum of 2 full-time employees including the owner

In addition, participants must have a business model that is innovative and/or technology-driven, OR, be a traditional business that provides services that support women and girls, OR otherwise demonstrate a positive economic impact in the community. The business should also be scalable with the potential to generate at least $500,000 in revenue within 3-5 years.

QUESTIONS?
Call the Urban League Women’s Business Resource Center at 504-620-9647