YWCA South Florida Stands Out From The Competition

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YWCA South Florida Stands Out From The Competition

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YWCA South Florida Stands Out From The Competition

YWCA USA held a two-day virtual women’s economic empowerment summit designed to encourage and inspire women and people of color to level up their business. With two hundred of the sharpest minds competing in the virtual pitch competition, YWCA South Florida won two top prizes.

A hundred years ago, the idea of a female entrepreneur owning and operating her own company would have seemed ambitious at best. Despite discrimination and gender inequality being factors working against women for centuries, women’s business ownership in America has steadily risen as women everywhere continue to inspire generations. To further cement the 160-year-old organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, YWCA USA and P&G teamed up to host the 2021 Level Up! Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit, a two-day virtual event that encourages economic empowerment for women entrepreneurs by providing them with the resources and skills needed to strengthen their business strategy and development.

The two-day event brought brilliant and innovative minds from across the country together to compete in YWCA USA’s virtual pitch competition, YWomen Start It Up. Contestants pitched their venture for a once-in-a-lifetime grant from P&G to help place their business in a position to thrive. YWCA’s South Florida Chapter truly stood out amongst the competition, boasting more finalists than any other chapter in the nation.

Extraordinary YWCA businesswomen proudly shared their business strategies with seasoned entrepreneurs and executives at P&G and YWCA, who provided powerful and insightful feedback. Judges were thoroughly impressed with all the finalist’s pitches. 

Michelle Singh from YWCA’s South Florida chapter took home 2nd place and $12,000 in the pitch competition for her business LCT-E Learning Solutions. Christina Duren from YWCA’s South Florida chapter was the first runner-up and received $5,000 for her brand Beautiful Brown Girls. Elaine Ramos and Sherice Franklin from YWCA’s South Florida chapter were also recognized as finalists in the tight competition.


1st Place: Hannah Ferguson | DOPE | YWCA Mahoning Valley | $15,000

2nd Place: Michelle Singh | LCT-E Learning Solutions | YWCA, South Florida | $12,000

3rd Place: Sheilisa McNeal-Burgess | Fria | YWCA Northern New Jersey | $10,000

Runner-Up: Christina Duren | Beautiful Brown Girls| YWCA South Florida | $5,000

Runner-Up: LaKisha Cargill | RIBS | YWCA Central Alabama | $5,000


Alexis Harris | Kinky Beauty Club | YWCA Houston

Alison Berrios-Murray | An A-Line Apparel | YWCA Northern New Jersey

Elaine Ramos | IS Insurance Specialists | YWCA South Florida

Erica Woods | M. Sugar Beauty | YWCA Greater Los Angeles

Isis Spann | FUNdamentals of Learning | YWCA Tri-County Area

Lorelle Woods | Fitness Therapy Training | YWCA Houston

Maleka James | Nurturing Seeds Doula | YWCA Dayton

Raquel Martinez Ochoa | Rio Mar International Group | YWCA San Antonio

Sherice Franklin | Sherie Renell | YWCA South Florida

Aligning with YWCA’s tradition of empowering women to achieve higher levels of leadership, YWCA helps women remove barriers and empower them to launch their businesses. Through upskilling, training, internships, and job placement, our life-changing Economic Empowerment programs like WE360, Women in Tech, YWeb Center, and Matched Savings are built around women’s experiences (especially women of color).

YWCA South Florida’s purpose-driven vision has come to fruition through proof of concept, dedication to the craft, and an unwavering commitment to helping women and people of color thrive in modern business.