The 20 winners from underrepresented groups were awarded $200,000 in total cash and additional resources to help them grow their businesses
Bill.com (NYSE:BILL), a leading provider of cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates financial operations for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), today announced the winners of ‘Grow'. The award and business development program started by Invoice2go, a Bill.com company, recognizes the untapped potential of small business owners from underrepresented communities. Twenty winners were chosen among 31,000 applicants by a judging panel of five prominent journalists and SMB community leaders.
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Meet the Grow Winners (Photo: Business Wire)
“During this Small Business Month, Bill.com is reminded of the tremendous contributions entrepreneurs make to the U.S. economy each and every day,” said René Lacerte, Bill.com CEO and Founder. “By recognizing our Grow winners and their minority-led businesses, we hope to shine a light on what the future of finance should look like, helping to remove systemic and institutional barriers by providing technology resources, mentorship connections, and capital to support their company growth.”
Based on a weighted scale of each entrepreneur's business plan, purpose, feasibility of success, and challenges faced, the 20 selected winners were assigned to a 1st-tier cash prize of $15,000, a 2nd-tier cash prize of $10,000, or a 3rd-tier cash prize of $5,000 each. These winners also received a one-year complimentary subscription of Invoice2go to further strengthen their ability to grow over the next year.
All applicants have been given entrance to community platforms including Go Getters, Female Founders, and Creative Collective, along with business development workshops taught by renowned career coaches and content creators to expand their community building and knowledge sharing.
The list of winners include:
- 1st Tier (Five awardees):
2nd Tier (Ten awardees):
- Anjali Nair, The Immigrant Academy
- Ashley Knight-Williams, I’m Still Hungry DC
- Demetria Sweatt, Wellness 4 U
- Derek Collins, Gifted & Lit
- Ismael Collazo, Blind Guy Boards
- Johnny Williams, WilliamsElectric
- Kristin Christian, Chicago French Press
- Kobe Boateng, Kobe Boateng
- Sonya Antoinette Harris, Go Verbal Speech Language Pathology Services
- Tara Cooper, It’s Bout Time Beauty Supply
- 3rd Tier (Five awardees):
The judging panel consists of the following esteemed prominent journalists and SMB community leaders:
- Candace Waterman, President and CEO of Women Impacting Public Policy
- Gene Marks, small business expert, keynote speaker, author and columnist at publications such as Forbes, The Guardian and The Hill
- Ramon Ray, entrepreneur, keynote speaker and best-selling author
- Rodney Fong, President and CEO of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
- Stephanie Mehta, CEO and Chief Content Officer at Mansueto Ventures, parent of Inc. and Fast Company
“As the CEO of a Chamber of Commerce in one of the most diverse cities in the country, I am dedicated to helping all businesses thrive,” said Rodney Fong, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “I am thankful that programs like Grow can commit the time, financial support, and resources to ensure that businesses are reflective of the community they are serving.”
Grow winner Young Authors Publishing is a children's and young adult book publisher whose mission is to change the dialogue around accurate representation in literature by sharing the stories of Black, Brown, and Indigenous young people. “Currently, less than 7% of children's books are written for Black, Latino, and Native authors combined,” said Leah Hernandez, Founder and CEO of Young Authors Publishing. “We are committed to using this capital to support our growing community by offering competitive royalty splits for young authors, educating authors on literacy courses, and providing publishing opportunities to underrepresented writers.”
Learn more about the Grow winners here.
Disclaimer: To be considered for Grow, businesses needed to be majority-owned, operated, and controlled by at least one US resident 18 years or older. Eligible business owners had to identify as one or more of the following: Asian-Indian, Asia-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, Native American or Alaska Native, Arab or Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, or as a person with a disability. In addition, the business needed to be less than five years old, have no more than ten employees, and have annual revenue of no more than $1,000,000 per year. Read all Grow’s terms and conditions here.
Bill.com (NYSE: BILL) is a leading provider of cloud-based software that simplifies, digitizes, and automates financial operations for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The company’s mission is to make it simple to connect and do business. Additional solutions include all-in-one expense management platform Divvy and mobile invoicing product Invoice2go. Hundreds of thousands of SMBs worldwide use Bill.com’s solutions to manage end-to-end financial workflows, process payments, and create connections to suppliers and clients, helping to manage cash inflows and outflows. Bill.com partners with leading U.S. financial institutions, accounting firms, and accounting software providers. Bill.com is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information visit www.bill.com.