Innovate HER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge

Do you have an innovative product or service that women and families need?

Local Competition offers a Chance at $70,000 in Cash Prizes Forest Park, IL!

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of Women’s Ownership, in partnership with Microsoft, is launching a nationwide prize competition called Innovate HER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. Through a series of local competitions across the nation,the SBA is looking for business owners (men and women) who are making a difference in the lives of families.

Winners of these local competitions, those with the most innovative products or services that measurably impact and empower the lives of women and families, will then have an opportunity to compete with a live pitch at the national competition in Washington D.C. The cash prizes for winners of the national competition are $40,000 (first place), $20,000 (second place) and $10,000 (third place).

One of the local competitions will be held at The Illinois SBDC office at The Joseph Center®, 7600 W. Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park, IL. For eligibility information, rules and guidelines, or to register your product or service, or call 708-697-6234. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE TO PARTICIPATE. Registration deadline is Thursday, October 15, 2015.

Why This Challenge? Why Now? Today’s women and families need innovative products and services to help balance the responsibilities of work and home. Nearly half of the nation’s labor force is women, and most children live in households where at least one parent works. Additionally, an increasing number of households have the extra responsibility of caring for aging parents.

Products and services will be judged on the following criteria: %uF0B7 30% on the measured impact on the lives of women and families %uF0B7 40% on potential for commercialization %uF0B7 30% on marketplace need

Sample ideas: website or app that list approved childcare services by zip code; or healthy meals or food ingredients delivered to your home.

Innovate HER 2015 Winners were: First Place: Bethany Edwards for a flushable, easy-to-use pregnancy test.

Second Place: Lisa Crites for the “The Shower Shirt,” a post-surgical, water-resistant garment for mastectomy patients.

The Illinois SBDC at The Joseph Center® 7600 W. Roosevelt Road, Forest Park, IL, provides professional business consulting, business training, workshops and assistance in obtaining business loans to assist established and emerging entrepreneurs achieve their production, performance and profit goals. Call 708.697.6234 for appointments.

For more information, CONTACT:

Kim Clay, Communications Dir. (708) 697-6180

Melissa Brown, Dir. Illinois SBDC Office at The Joseph Center® (708) 697-5341