2023 WE Fellowship Pitch Competition
To apply, please click HERE.
Pitch Competition: April 20, 2023
Only 39% of U.S. businesses have women majority ownership according to American Express OPEN, “The 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.” Increased access to female mentors, resources, and role models can cultivate entrepreneurial success for a women-owned business. As a women’s training organization, JLNO’s diverse, professional membership is uniquely positioned to guide women wishing to scale their endeavors.
Started in January 2016, JLNO’s Woman Entrepreneur (WE) Fellowship is a yearlong program supporting a female business owner with funding as well as mentoring and in-kind services sourced through JLNO’s membership. Women with at least a 50% stake in an enterprise that has been in operation between one to five years and making less than $750,000 are eligible to apply.
The WE Fellowship Committee reviews the submissions and selects up to six finalists. Each finalist will meet with a growth consulting firm to craft a 10-minute pitch. A judging panel selects the Fellow, and JLNO members develop a plan to secure in-League mentors and resources. Our WE Fellows have scaled their businesses, increasing staff, revenue, and industry recognition, and the finalists have gained knowledge, connections, and exposure through the pitch process.
The WE Fellowship goes beyond giving financial support to a small business. It aligns with the Junior League mission tenet to “develop the potential of women” by offering mentoring, training, and support. The program is innovative, specific, and impactful. Most importantly, WE Fellowship emphasizes the unique capacity women have for creative endeavors and perseverance, providing examples to which women and girls can aspire.
- The business-owner should be a woman who is
- The majority stakeholder in the enterprise or 50/50 with a spouse/partner and functions as its daily manager
- Aged 21 years and older
- A legal resident of the United States
- The business can be in any industry and should
- Have been formed under U.S. law and is currently operating within 40 miles of New Orleans, Louisiana
- Have between 1 year minimum and 5 year maximum of continuous operations
- Be an established business generating annual revenues greater than $0 and less than $750,000
- The business must be in good standing at the time of the application submission and shall upload a screenshot confirming the Secretary of State filing.
- The following are not eligible:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Subsidiary or franchise businesses
The WE Fellow should represent the same personal and professional commitments as the Junior League, namely it embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, and reaches out to all women who demonstrate an interest in improving their community.
Application Process & Timeline
The WE Fellow is selected via a multi-step process as indicated below.
Step 1 – Complete the WE Fellowship application.
If interested, female business owners must submit an application in early 2023. Submitting an application is free, and applicants need not be JLNO members. Please click HERE for the application.
Step 2 – Prepare for Pitches
The WE Fellowship Selection Committee will review the submitted applications and select women-owned businesses to give 10-minute presentations on April 20, 2023. Prior to the event, each finalist will meet with an expert from Trepwise Consulting who will help her craft her presentation.
Step 3 – Present at WE Fellowship Pitch Competition
Each finalist will pitch her enterprise for an audience and judging panel. Votes from the public will award an audience prize, and a judging panel will award the fellowship. The pitch competition will take place on April 20, 2023, in person at a location to be announced.
- Mentoring and support services from Junior League of New Orleans Members
$5,000 cash grant provided by Fidelity Bank
1 page spread in The Scout Guide New Orleans Volume 11
- Access to meeting space in Uptown New Orleans (not to be used as retail space; a value of $350)
- Tuition to JLNO’s Get on Board nonprofit board training program (a $250 value)
Business coaching and evaluation by Trepwise consulting
- Feature in Lagniappe, JLNO’s quarterly magazine to 5,000 readers
- Opportunities to market to JLNO members
- One year of membership dues (a $220 value) should the WE Fellow meet eligibility criteria and elects to join JLNO; meeting the membership curriculum and subsequent membership renewals would be the fellow’s responsibility.
Congratulations to 2021-2022 Woman Entrepreneur Fellow, Sydni Raymond, Founder and CEO of Bomb Ass Fro.
Lively Sauces | Lauren Mora
NOLA Learning Support and Consulting, L3C | Katharine Novak
CITRONOLA, LLC | Claudia Beneveto
Bomb Ass Fro | Sydni Raymond
Nola Bougie, LLC | Alisha Reed
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