2019 Empower Change MI Winners Announced

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 27, 2019 – For the second year, Ford Motor Company Fund and Michigan Women Forward hosted a business plan and pitch competition to help accelerate the number of female business owners and develop the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

Formerly known as EmpowerHER, the seven-month program provided coaching, mentoring and technical assistance to women wishing to start or grow social venture business. Competitors worked to create a business that helped solve a community need while also becoming sustainable.

Fifteen finalists competed for prizes and impact investments in the following categories: 

  • Ideation: This category focuses on the creative process of generating, developing and communicating new business ideas.
    • Winner: Brittany Rhodes of Black Girl MATHgic
  • Launch: This category is for business owners that have started an organization and have been pursuing the work for a while, but need financial support to get it off the ground.
    • Winner: Gina Adams of Buttons 2 Button
  • Growth: This category focuses on businesses that have the potential to scale significantly in size and revenue.
    • Winner: Arielle Johnson of Fierce Detroit
  • Audience Choice -- Idea That Will Change The World
    • Winner Jeanette Brown of Dutton Farms