The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and Cummins Inc. are proud to announce the recipients of the inaugural WBENC Cummins Grant for Black Student Female Founders.
The new grant initiative demonstrates Cummins commitment to future owners and will provide 12 student entrepreneurs with up to $6,000 in funding to invest in their businesses.
Black women are starting businesses faster than any other segment – in 2019, 1,625 new businesses were started by women of color every single day. Despite this, these businesses experience greater difficulties in securing access to capital and receiving funding to grow their businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the urgency of the situation, with minority-owned businesses among the most negatively impacted.
To help fill this gap in a critical time and support the next generation of Black female entrepreneurs, Cummins partnered with WBENC to launch this important program. Key elements of the program involve connecting Black experienced woman business owners and executives with Black college entrepreneurs and companies that drive change for a healthy planet.
The 12 selected grantees are inspiring young leaders and innovators focused on tackling some of society’s most difficult challenges with responsible products, services, and solutions appealing to individual consumers and corporations.
Meet the 2020 WBENC Cummins Grant for Black Student Female Founders Grantees
Zoleka Moziah | FogOnyx
Zoleka is a senior Engineering and Data Sciences double major at Smith College and co-founder of FogOnyx. FogOnyx creates hydroponic fertigation systems that support fast, organic seedling growth for vegetable farmers.
Dia Davis | DelivHer FemCare
Dia is a senior at Georgia State University where she is completing a dual bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and Managerial Science. She is the COO of DelivHer FemCare, a company that provides a whole women solution through a period subscription service coupled with the invention of the first absorbent menstrual cup. As a young entrepreneur, Dia aspires to change the sigma surrounding menstruation and educate women about greater options that are available to help them manage their monthly cycle.
Leyanis Diaz | MAJOR
Leyanis is a recent graduate of University College London’s MSc in Entrepreneurship program and the founder of MAJOR, an online one-stop shop for minority-owned businesses. Part online incubator and development center, MAJOR is on a mission to keep minority-owned businesses from closing their doors through advocacy and thought leadership, data and research, minority business development, and technical assistance and technology development.
Audra Huffmeyer | Fil₂R
Audra is a 5th year PhD Candidate in Biology at UCLA and the founder of Fil₂R (pronounced: filter) a sustainable water filtration company. Their first product, the reusable Fil₂R case (patent pending), is an eco-friendly water filter that is compatible with your existing water pitcher.
Diamonique Lundy | SoLo’s Food LLC
Diamonique is a graduate student of Nutrition and Food Science at Montclair State University. She founded SoLo’s Food, a soul fusion meal prep service that delivers healthy meals at affordable prices. SoLo’s Food is a solution to the disproportionate rate of diet related diseases in the Black and brown communities.
Nicole Toole | Conserve Innovations
Nicole is a junior at Georgia State University as well as the confounder of Conserve Innovations, a recycling solutions company that creates clean tech-based waste and recycling solutions for a cleaner and greener planet. The Conserve app uses machine learning to promptly educate and reward users for recycling their waste properly.
Ashley McMichael | The Innovative Academy of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Ashley recently graduated with her Masters in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. She is the founder of the Innovative Academy of Liberal Arts & Sciences (IALAS). IALAS (I-ALAS) utilizes a 2-generation approach to provide STEAM education, career training, financial empowerment, and innovative mental health therapies for low-income students and parents that have been geographically and politically isolated from educational and wealth building opportunities.
Ayodele Aigbe | Hangio
Ayodele is a senior electrical engineering major at Texas Tech University. She is the founder of Hangio, an innovative closet-organization company optimizing the everyday closet experience through well-designed and well-made products. Hangio’s flagship product, The Hangio Hanger, is the first premium bendable hanger that alleviates shoulder bumps, clothes slippage, and collar stretching.
Mac-Jane Crayton | Dream Mentorship
Mac-Jane is a Ph.D. student with a focus on Nonprofit management at Auburn University. She is the founder and Executive Director of Dream Mentorship – a curriculum-based nonprofit organization that provides women with the resources, strategies, and tools they need to pursue their dreams with confidence and clarity by offering professional development training and personal enrichment courses to women in North America and Sub Saharan Africa, so more women can have a competitive advantage in the corporate world.
Jannice Newson | Lillian Augusta
Jannice is a social entrepreneur focused on Black hair care solutions. She is co-founder of Lillian Augusta, a company creating plant-based braiding hair. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Missouri and recently received a master’s degree in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, and trying new foods.
Portia Thomas | Vagiome
Portia (she/her) is currently an M.D./Ph.D. student at Meharry Medical College and a co-founder of Vagiome. Identifying as a black woman herself, Portia not only has a passion for vaginal health, but also the disparities experienced by underrepresented minorities in healthcare. The Vagiome platform aims to engage, equip, educate, and empower individuals of all ethnicities and genders to advocate for the vaginal health.
Tishauna Wilson | Tasckq
Tishauna is the Founder and CEO of Tasckq, an extremely fast, automated online appointment scheduling B2B SaaS web app. Currently, Tishauna is furthering her knowledge in Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, the business behind technology, and startups as a first-year master’s student at Virginia Tech.