Wrapping up two captivating events, two female small business owners walked away winners of the first national Small Biz Challenge competition. Hosted by The UPS Store, Inc. in collaboration with Inc. magazine, the lively Small Biz Challenge tested the entrepreneurial skills of six dynamic entrepreneurs. Samia Bingham of Flavors Culinary Group from Fort Washington, Md. took away $14,000 from the event in Los Angeles, and Ingrid Sanden of Boolean Girl Tech from Arlington, Va. won a total of $12,000 in New York. To help each winner further amplify the story of their business through national attention, they will also receive an editorial feature in the November 2019 issue of Inc. magazine.
Robert Herjavec, leading investor on the hit TV show “Shark Tank” and Founder and CEO of Herjavec Group, knows that starting a business is no easy task - it takes courage and tenacity. At the event, Herjavec shared valuable business advice with contestants and the attendees, as well as judged the finalists based on their business acumen demonstrated during the each of the challenges.
Hosted by author and TV personality, Shannon LaNier, the Small Biz Challenge consisted of two game show style events. Bingham and Sanden confidently competed against a slate of talented entrepreneurs who were selected after a nationwide call for entry and online public vote. The contestants competed in front of a live audience in a round-robin of five challenges created to test their small business savvy and skills in sales, advertising, customer service and budgeting.
“Each of the winners and finalists showed us what it takes to be a successful business owner – an entrepreneurial spirit and a positive attitude,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “Through the Small Biz Challenge, The UPS Store is proud to recognize and celebrate bright and hard-working entrepreneurs across the country.”
“These challenges are like a microcosm of running a small business. To see these entrepreneurs test their business smarts and talent is an inspiration for all those working to create their own success,” said Herjavec. “The Small Biz Challenge serves as a reminder that a great small business requires a highly focused and capable individual for it to be thriving and lucrative.”
Bingham and Sanden will use their award to further their respective businesses. Bingham’s Flavors Culinary Group focuses on assisting companies in quality talent acquisition, recruitment, adequate staffing and superior management training. Bingham says she will use the $14,000 she won to create a unique kitchen incubator with training space for culinary professionals.
Sanden’s business Boolean Girl Tech is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating girls to code, build, invent and animate. They manufacture the Boolean Box, a build-it-yourself computer and engineering kit designed to help girls learn through play to code and build electronics. Sanden says they will use their $12,000 of Small Biz Challenge winnings to help with holiday sales and digital marketing of the Boolean Box and to launch a new add-on product, a sensor kit.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to further my business goals for Flavors Culinary Group,” said Bingham. “It was a joy to meet the other talented small business owner finalists, and it reminded me how special and unique the small business community is.”
“It fills me with so much joy to be able to secure additional funding for Boolean Girl Tech through this fantastic opportunity,” said Sanden. “I’m thrilled to take home not only the cash prize, but also the advice and inspiration I received from Robert Herjavec and the other finalists.”
To learn more about The UPS Store® Small Biz Challenge and finalists, visit www.theupsstore.com/smallbizchallenge.
About The UPS Store
With approximately 5,000 locations across North America, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, products, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit theupsstore.com.
In 2019, The UPS Store ranked #5 overall in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and #1 in the Postal & Business Centers category for the 29th consecutive year. For information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit https://www.theupsstorefranchise.com/. Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at facebook.com/theupsstore.