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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the winners of its InnovateHER Business Challenge May 8 at a National Small Business Week event. The competition was designed to foster innovative women to create products that impact and empower the lives of women and their families.
According the the SBA, women make up 57% of the workforce and play a critical role in the Unites States economy. Many of these women have growing families, that require unique needs. The InnovateHer Challenge was created with the needs of women in mind and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, and small business owners to cultivate products and services that may help maintain a women’s work life needs and balance.
“Today we salute these innovative winners for their remarkable ingenuity and creativity,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. Â “National Small Business Week has been a display of the genius of America’s entrepreneurs. Â We received so many thoughtful business ideas it was difficult to select the top three winners. Â This is how dreams are made for entrepreneurs across the country, with their insightful, practical solutions that will impact the economic strength of our nation. We proudly honor these competition winners and all who entered in nearly 75 regional competitions across the country.”
The InnovateHER Business Challenge kicked off in early March with local competitions throughout the country hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other local organizations. Of the 15 nationwide finalist chosen, only three were announced winners taking home the top prizes totalling $30,000 provided by Microsoft.
The first place $15,000 award went to Bethany Edwards of Pennsylvania for her LIA Diagnostics-designed pregnancy test that provides a better experience for women during a stressful time of uncertainty.
The LIA test is discreet, easy to use and is environmentally friendly, flushable and ergonomically designed for women to hold and use. It also displays a result that is easy to understand.
Lisa Crites took home $10,000 and second place for her invention of the shower shirt, a post-surgical, patented, water-resistant garment designed to prevent post-surgical mastectomy drain sites from coming into contact with water while showering. The shirt is also said to reduce the risks of post surgical infection.
Sophia Berman, owner of Trusst Lingerie, was awarded $5,000 for lingerie products aimed at eliminating the pain and discomforts experienced by larger busted woman with cup size DDD+. The current bra technology supports larger breasts from the shoulder straps. Â Trusst’s system places the majority of the support from underneath the bust, encompassing up to 80 percent of breast weight.
To learn more about the SBA’s InnovateHER competition, click here.