Congratulations to our BALSA Grant Spring 2017 Finalists!

Spring 2017 BALSA Grant Awards Ceremony. From Left to Right Back Row: Alina Oltean, BALSA Foundation Volunteer; Matt Wyczalkowski, Executive Director; Theresa Owuor, Program Director; Kathleen Cook, Esso Skin Care; Tim McIntyre, My Neighbor's Garage; Latonja Flowers, Sahgol Jewelry Co; Sade Hobson Singleton, Doohicky Craftique, LLC; Candi Tenney, Rita Childers, CORE + RIND; Brittany Riehlman, Outreach Director; Tom Cohen; Reyka Jayasinghe, Technology Director. Bottom Row Left to Right: Amanda Colon-Smith, Leche Love Notes; Madeline Jackson, NanaComb Vision LLC; Jessica "Merlin" Whitman, The Tiny Hedgehog; Andrew Lau, mDental; Shannon Koenig, Insprawear.

Spring 2017 BALSA Grant Awards Ceremony. From Left to Right Back Row: Alina Oltean, BALSA Foundation Volunteer; Matt Wyczalkowski, Executive Director; Theresa Owuor, Program Director; Kathleen Cook, Esso Skin Care; Tim McIntyre, My Neighbor's Garage; Latonja Flowers, Sahgol Jewelry Co; Sade Hobson Singleton, Doohicky Craftique, LLC; Candi Tenney, Rita Childers, CORE + RIND; Brittany Riehlman, Outreach Director; Tom Cohen; Reyka Jayasinghe, Technology Director. Bottom Row Left to Right: Amanda Colon-Smith, Leche Love Notes; Madeline Jackson, NanaComb Vision LLC; Jessica "Merlin" Whitman, The Tiny Hedgehog; Andrew Lau, mDental; Shannon Koenig, Insprawear.

We are delighted to announce our Spring 2017 BALSA Grant Finalists!  These ten first time entrepreneurs will each receive a $1000 cash grant, in-kind donations of professional services, and ongoing mentorship to help start and grow their business:

  • Amanda Colon-Smith, Leche Love Notes
  • Kathleen Cook, Esso Skin Care
  • Latonja Flowers, Sahgol Jewelry Co
  • Sade Hobson Singleton, Doohicky Craftique, LLC
  • Madeline Jackson, NanaComb Vision, LLC
  • Shannon Koenig, Insprawear
  • Andrew Lau, mDental
  • Tim McIntyre, My Neighbor's Garage
  • Jessica "Merlin" Whitman, The Tiny Hedgehog
  • Candi Tenney and Rita Childers, CORE + RIND

You can read more about all our finalists here.  

Our finalists ceremony featured a panel discussion by several of our past BALSA Grant Finalists including:  Arriel Bivens-Biggs, Young Biz Kidz; Carrie Lewis, Sweet Life Gourmet;  Janelle Mack, 2Geez Catering; and Patrice Hill, Inali Jewelry. A big thanks to all of our finalists for sharing their personal experiences and to Jade Harrell , Founder and CEO of RareGem Productions for moderating!

Photos by Constantino Schillebeeckx. Program by Brittany Riehlman.

Handout from the BALSA Grant Awards Ceremony.

Handout from the BALSA Grant Awards Ceremony.

Executive Director Matt Wyczalkowski introduces moderator Jade Harrell. 

Executive Director Matt Wyczalkowski introduces moderator Jade Harrell. 

Past BALSA Foundation Finalists: Janelle Mack, 2Geez Catering and Carrie Lewis, Sweet Life Gourmet.

Past BALSA Foundation Finalists: Janelle Mack, 2Geez Catering and Carrie Lewis, Sweet Life Gourmet.