Cameka Smith’s Boss Network Grants $350K, Mentorship to 35 Black Women Business Owners

PhenomenalMAG Staff  |  On The Rise

Cameka Smith, CEO of The Boss Network, revealed the 35 winners of the Sage Invest in Progress grants.

These funds are for black female entrepreneurs in their first five years. Each will earn $10,000 and a year of coaching.

Sage's $1.5 million three-year donation to the BOSS Impact Fund, through the Sage Foundation, will assist with investing in black women-owned businesses and preparing entrepreneurs to establish scalable, growth-driven businesses. The BOSS Impact Fund aims to generate $500,000 over three years for 500+ black women entrepreneurs.

Sage and The BOSS Network planned to award 25 Sage Invest in Progress grants. Sage and The BOSS Network agreed to award 10 extra prizes after receiving over 12,500 applications. In addition to beauty and self-care, these 35 entrepreneurs work in consumer goods, professional services and healthcare/wellness as well as food and beverage.

Sage's Invest in Progress grant is part of the BOSS Impact Fund. It comprises a 12-month entrepreneurship coaching and education program to assist these businesswomen succeed.

Each Sage Invest in Progress grant recipient gets:

$10,000 in cash • Quarterly marketing, financial, and customer service training classes through Sage-sponsored BOSS University. • Sage will help pay for these courses. Accounting software from Sage Business Cloud is also free.

“This is such an outstanding moment for The BOSS Network,” said Cameka. “The launch of our first BOSS Impact Fund, as well as our incredible partnership with Sage, are not only a testament to the strength of The BOSS Network brand but also the power of our community of entrepreneurs and business owners. We are ecstatic for the 35 awardees and look forward to guiding them on their road to success.”

The response to the first Invest in Progress grant was unexpected, says Sage North America interim president Aziz Benmalek. He believes that assisting and uplifting Black businesswomen is critical, and stated that Sage wants is committed to helping these women by continuing to invest in underrepresented communities.

Inaugural Invest in Progress Grant Recipients

Here are the 35 inaugural grant awardees with their businesses and locations, per Black News:

• Josie Santiago, Akili Well, based in Emeryville, CA

• Iris Hoses, Festively, based in Hacienda Heights, CA

• Tracey-Renee Hubbard, Scotchbonnet!, based in Hayward, CA

• Briantria Smocks, Levi&Toonk, based in Lakewood, CA

• Aaliyah Nitoto, Free Range Flower Winery, based in Livermore, CA

• Diondraya Taylor, Mindset & Milestones, based in Los Angeles, CA

• La’Dayshia Hunt, Divinity Remedy, based in San Francisco, CA

• Lydia-Carlie Tilus, SageFemme Wellness, based in San Mateo, CA

• Kevnesha Boyd, Quality Counseling, based in Hamden, CT

• Naomi Dubissette, Urbanoire, based in Norwalk, CT

• Janese Laster, Gut Theory Total Digestive Care, based in Washington, D.C.

• Brianna Ross, Brown Rose Essentials, based in Apopka, FL

• Courtney Gavin, Xelda Company, based in Boca Raton, FL

• Monique Caradine-Kitchens, OverFlow Enterprises, based in Atlanta, GA

• Beverly Iseghohi, SBR4Life, based in Atlanta, GA

• Jaquacer Middlebrooks, box it UP designs, based in Conyers, GA

• Dianna King, Eat UNrestricted, based in Lithonia, GA

• Ja’Nique Blocker, Sconnet, based in Marietta, GA

• Marnetia Amaning, Sincerely Tied, based in Snellville, GA

• Janeen Harrell, iJ DESIGN STUDIO, based in Chicago, IL

• Yewande Odusanwo, Zora Digital, based in Chicago, IL

• Shanika Valcour-LeDuff, Labor and Love, based in New Orleans, LA

• Natasha Brown-Wainwright, B’More Made with Pride, based in Baltimore, MD

• Jessica Austin, Creative Carvings, based in Grand Rapids, MI

• Mashell Lawson, Soul Stretch Yoga & Wellness, based in Warren, MI

• Nijalon Jackson-Causey, Afredanz Dance Center, based in Moss Point, MS

• Kiera Gardner, Blend of Soul, based in Chapel Hill, NC

• Nancey Harris, Vontelle, based in Brooklyn, NY

• Samantha Sinclair, Pathway to Purpose, based in Brooklyn, NY

• Cathleen Trigg-Jones, iWomanTV, based in New York, NY

• Amber Hammond, Ciela Handmade, based in Columbus, OH

• Nimilolu Fafowora, The Beem Box, based in Medford, OR

• Shunta Grant, Best Today, based in Greer, SC

• Janita Gilliam, Jabber Talk Speech and Consulting, based in Prosper, TX

• Tosin Ojo, CITSAP Consulting, based in Richmond, TX

The Boss Network

Cameka Smith founded BOSS (Bringing Out Successful Sisters). a network to support small businesses and women's professions. The BOSS Network is an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who share ideas, connect online, and attend events together. Our present mission is to educate and fund Black women-owned businesses who wish to thrive long-term. VisitTheBOSSNetwork.org andBossImpactFund.com to learn more about The BOSS Network.

The Sage Foundation

Established in 2016, the Sage Foundation, funds Sage's Invest in Progress award program. The Sage Foundation's mission is to tackle societal and economic inequality by investing in education, technology, and the environment. This helps people, communities, and the world.


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