Awards & Events

14 Women Graduate from YBI’s WE Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The 14 women representing a dozen businesses enrolled in the most recent cohort of the Youngstown Business Incubator’s Women in Entrepreneurship program graduated from the nine-week program last night.

As part of the graduation ceremony, the women took part in a pitch competition, presenting their business and mission to a panel of judges. The winner, McDivitt Family Maple, took home $5,000 to support the business. The family-owned business produces maple syrup and gourmet products such as maple balsamic vinaigrette and maple hot pepper jam. Stacy McDivitt also donates a portion of profits to organizations that help those with autism.

Also presented was the Impact Award, which gave $1,000 to a business that will have a community impact. The winner of that prize was Patricia McSuley, founder of Compassionate Wigs, a company that works with women going through chemotherapy or alopecia. McSuley is a breast cancer survivor herself.

“I am extremely proud of the growth I have seen through this nine- week program,” said Carmella Williams, director of the WE program. “The drive that these ladies showed was evident through their engagement through the classes as well as their requests for one-on-one meetings with myself and YBI’s Huntington Bank entrepreneur in residence, Jim Cossler.”

Others in the class included a silversmith, bakers, a pillow maker, an artist, a lipstick maker and a 24/7 child-care center.

“This class has put in a lot of hard work and it has shown since the beginning of the program,” said YBI CEO Barb Ewing. “Here at the YBI, we are looking forward to increasing the number of women owned businesses in the Mahoning Valley through the YBI WE program as well as the Minority Business Assistance Center, which will have an office here at the YBI starting in January.”

Applications for 2018 Women in Entrepreneurship classes will open in January at YBI.org.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.