The Urban League of Louisiana is proud to announce the virtual activation of its 2020 Women in Business Challenge: Scale Up! sponsored by Iberia Bank and AARP Louisiana. The WIB Challenge provides female entrepreneurs with the education, tools, and resources needed to scale their businesses towards profitability and sustainability. During the event, program finalists will pitch their “Scale Up! Plan of Action” for a chance to win $10,000 in funding support.

The Women in Business Challenge will be held on Friday, September 25, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, online. This event was previously scheduled to take place in March 2020. In response to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Urban League of Louisiana has decided to host this annual event virtually.

DATE:  Friday, September 25, 2020

TIME:  11:00 am to 12:30 pm



Maryam Henderson-Uloho, SisterHearts Thrift Store and SisterHearts Boutique

A thrift store located in Arabi, LA and a boutique located in New Orleans, LA. Both locations that provide transitional work, decarceration training, and a fresh start for formerly incarcerated individuals.


Emily Swietlik, Swiet Studio

A New Orleans-based fine art studio specializing in wearable art, costumes, and jewelry. Also, creates #artWORK opportunities for women and artisans around the world (#empowARTment).


Dorothy Nairne, Delta Builds

Provides eco-friendly building materials, glass containers and household products manufactured from recycled materials.


Shondricka Carter, Carter Capital, LLC

Offers tax preparation and planning, accounting, business consulting, personal financial literacy, budgeting analysis, product management and marketing, as well as QuickBooks training and support.




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.


Scale Up! Louisiana is a statewide entrepreneurial education program hosted by Urban League of Louisiana’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The program provides early stage businesses with the education and resources that are critical to creating a scalable and profitable business model. The goal of this initiative is to provide entrepreneurial development services within communities across the state of Louisiana – based on the challenges, opportunities, and small business development needs that are unique to each community. This program puts resources in place for small business education, counseling, technical assistance, mentorship, funding, and other support services within targeted communities.

Scale Up! Louisiana is a transition program that guides existing small business owners towards becoming high growth, sustainable ventures. This nine-week program is delivered via nine, six-hour, in-classroom sessions and four web classes. In addition, participants have the opportunity to work with a business advisor for counseling, technical assistance, and other support services as needed. There is no cost to participants to attend the program.


For consideration into the accelerator program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a graduate of the Scale Up! Louisiana Program
  • 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.


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

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.