NEW ORLEANS (March 26, 2018) – 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.
The Women-in-Business Challenge, which is now in its sixth year, is a business accelerator program for emerging women-owned businesses. It provides business growth education, technical assistance, personalized consulting, mentorship and peer learning opportunities to ten selected program participants during an intensive 9-week program. This program culminates in an investment pitch challenge featuring four women entrepreneurs.
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.
“Our finalists this year represent a dynamic group of women entrepreneurs who inspired all of us with their amazing pitches. We are thrilled to congratulate Kelsey on her outstanding win. The Urban League of Louisiana is committed to empowering women entrepreneurs of Louisiana and we will continue our service and dedication to this mission,” said Urban League of Louisiana President & CEO, Erika McConduit.
Additional finalists included, Tedra Chaney of NOLA Therapy Room, Andrea Mejia of Sensa Design and Michelle Norwood of Exclusive Events.
The panel of judges was made up of a distinguished group of business leaders, media professionals, bankers, and small business champions that included Quentin L. Messer Jr., President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA); Ryan Conway, Director of Digital Partnerships, Mastercard; Hermione Malone, Executive Director, Good Work Network and Meghan Donelon, Vice President, Commercial Banking, IBERIABANK.
Miss Robbie Montgomery, entrepreneur and Sweetie Pie’s matriarch, served as the keynote speaker. Miss Montgomery gave an inspiring and humorous message to the audience, detailing her incredible journey from backup singer for acts such as Ike and Tina Turner, the Supremes, James Brown and The Rolling Stones, to name a few, to starting her own restaurant, overcoming obstacles along the way and making it into the empire it is today. Miss Montgomery also hosted a cookbook signing after the event.
About Urban League of Louisiana (ULLA):
Celebrating 80 years of service, the Urban League of Louisiana works to enable African-Americans and other communities seeking equity to secure economic self-reliance, parity and civil rights. Programs of the Urban League’s three Centers of Excellence are focused in the areas of education and youth development, workforce and economic development and public policy and advocacy. For more information on the Urban League, visit us online at www.urbanleaguela.org and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@urbanleaguela). In 2001, the Urban League of Louisiana opened the Women’s Business Resource Center (WBRC) to facilitate small business development, provide business consulting, educational training and other resources to assist aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. The Contractor Resource Center was launched in 2014 to increase the organization’s capacity to serve commercial contractors. The Women’s Business Resource Center and the Contractor Resource Center assist over 1,000 entrepreneurs annually.