Mastercard & Bank of America Announce “Grow Your Biz Contest” Winner
Back in September, Mastercard and Bank of America announced the start of the second annual Grow Your Biz Contest. Promoting the fact that 60% of U.S. small businesses say they plan to grow their operations in the next five years, the contest asked a simple question: “How?” Entrepreneurs were invited to answer that question in videos of up to one minute in length for a chance to win $25,000 as well as business consultation with industry experts. Today, the two companies announced small business owner Arion Long as the grand prize winner.
Long, the founder of Femly, was selected by the contest’s panel of judges including Create and Cultivate CEO Jaclyn Johnson and Cleveland Hustles host Bonin Bough among others. As explained in her video, Long was inspired to launch her company after learning that the cervical tumor she suffered was linked to chemicals present in some feminine care products she had been using. Thus The Femly Box is a feminine care subscription service that features all-natural products.
In a statement, B of A Northeast Small Business Division executive Kevin Kelly acknowledged all four content finalists, saying each had “displayed impressive ingenuity and passion for their businesses and are excellent ambassadors for this competition and all entrepreneurs. He went on to say, “We’re excited to congratulate our winner, Arion Long of Femly, and look forward to supporting her vision with an award that will give them the power to grow and pursue the next stage of their business adventure.” Meanwhile Mastercard’s Head of North America small business Ginger Siegel discussed some of the challenges many small businesses face, noting, “While these businesses may be small, they are also mighty, and driven by an ambition to grow and expand their customer base. Most small businesses don’t have chief marketing, finance or risk officers to help get them there.” Siegel said this reality led her company to partner with Bank of America for the Grow Your Biz Contest as a way to provide business owners “the guidance and resources necessary to thrive.”
It is interesting to note that, while this is Mastercard’s second year of this contest, it’s rival American Express that has been most associated with small business in recent years. This is likely in great part due to that company’s hand in making Small Business Saturday a thing. Regardless, it’s great to see credit card companies, banks, and others partnering together to help hard-working small business owners any way that they can. So congrats to Arion Long and kudos to Mastercard and B of A.