Meet the Black Magic Reimagined Pitch Competition Winners
Capital One awarded entrepreneurs with grants totaling up to $100,000 at the Summit's pitch competition
October 4, 2023
The number of Black-women owned businesses continues to increase each year. New data shows that 37.2 percent of all Black-owned businesses, and 19 percent of women-owned businesses, are owned by Black women.
Structural barriers continue to impede growing entrepreneurship for Black women. A recent survey found 17 percent of all Black women in the U.S. are in the process of starting or running a new business, however only 3 percent of those women are running mature businesses.
Despite business growth and increases in revenue, employees and payroll, there are still significant barriers for Black-women owned businesses to thrive. Black women entrepreneurs continue to be underrepresented in the entrepreneurial space, another factor impeding their growth potential.
Capital One supports efforts to close the representation gap through events like the Black Magic Reimagined Summit. For the fourth year in a row, Capital One is partnering with Boss Women Media to provide entrepreneurs with grants totaling up to $100,000 with the Black Magic Reimagined Pitch Competition.
"This year's pitch competition winners are prime examples of aspirational, dynamic entrepreneurship. They are expanding the marketplace in unique ways while creating economic pathways not just for themselves, but for their communities at large," said Dayna Fleming, Head of Customer Growth, Business Cards & Payments at Capital One. "We're thrilled to partner with Boss Women Media to provide grants that will help these entrepreneurs continue to achieve their dreams and build sustainable, thriving businesses."
Each winner pitched their business to a panel of judges, including:
- Amber Williams, Owner & Executive Chef, Le Rouge Cuisine Food Co. and 2022 Black Girl Magic Pitch Competition first place winner
- Dayna Fleming, Head of Customer Growth, Capital One Business Cards & Payments
- Mekina Raga, Vice President of Business Development, Capital One Small Business Bank
Read on to learn more about the three Black Magic Reimagined winners.
First Place ($50,000) – Felicia Jackson, CPRWrap, Inc
During a family outing, Felicia Jackson’s son accidentally choked on a small object. Panic immediately set in. Despite working in a hospital and being CPR trained, fear and distress clouded her ability to recall any CPR steps in this critical moment.
“My husband reacted quickly - saving our son's life. It was an eye-opening experience that made me realize the crucial need for a reliable and user-friendly tool to confidently guide individuals through the CPR process during medical emergencies,” Jackson said.
Her son’s near-death experience inspired Jackson to become the entrepreneur she is today. Through extensive research, development and counteless testing, CPRWrap was born. The safety tool combines visual hand placements for proper compressions, an attached one-way valve mouth barrier for added protection during rescue breathing and translated CPR instructions.
Having access to a straightforward, cost-efficient tool is imperative in increasing survival rates. CPRWrap has received praise for its affordability and accessibility, making it an ideal solution for schools, workplaces and households.
“CPRWrap is a testament to the power of simplicity in addressing a critical need, and I'm committed to ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact,” Jackson added.
Second Place ($30,000) – Ehime Eigbe-Akindele, Sweetkiwi
At 22, Ehime Eigbe-Akindele’s routine doctor's visit did not go as planned. Doctors had discovered she uterine fibroids, which would require surgery to remove. She made a complete lifestyle change, altering her nutrition and rethinking how to incorporate her favorite treats in her new diet.
As a result, Eigbe-Akindele created Sweetkiwi, an innovative frozen dessert that satisfies a sweet tooth while supporting a healthy gut. It is the first innovation in the frozen yogurt industry in over a decade.
“I created a whipped Greek frozen yogurt that bridges the gap between good for you, functional nutrition and great taste,” Eigbe-Akindele said.
Using premium, natural ingredients sourced from local family farms, the frozen yogurts are uniquely formulated with protein, probiotics, fiber and immune-boosting superfoods to support gut health and wellness.
“Sweetkiwi is changing how consumers experience food by challenging the norm that healthy can’t be simultaneously delicious and nutritious,” Eigbe-Akindele said.
Capital One's support would provide vital financial resources to help scale Sweetkiwi, expand its product offerings and create more job opportunities.
Eigbe-Akindele added that the grant would offer invaluable visibility and credibility for her business, enabling them to inspire and serve as a positive example for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially young Black women.
Third Place ($20,000) – ToughCutie, Brittany Coleman
Over the course of her career working for outdoor and active lifestyle brands, Brittany Coleman noticed she was often the only woman of color in the room.
“Modern outdoor brands can be very male-centric, and the female consumer is an afterthought,” says Coleman. “Unfortunately, women of color are largely underrepresented in this industry.”
In 2020, the Outdoor Industry Association shared data with its members that reported that nearly 60 percent of all outdoor participants were female and more ethnically diverse than in previous years. Coleman’s company, ToughCutie, is appealing to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts with high-quality women’s outdoor and lifestyle products with a purposeful and impactful approach.
Coleman is starting a movement that is trying to change the narrative around who is able to access the outdoors – and who gets to be labeled “outdoorsy.”
“I wanted to do things differently and deliver a high-quality product made especially for the female customer with her needs in mind. We focused on socks because that was the product I knew best, but sky's the limit in what we can create with this approach."