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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Girls Going Places; An Entrepreneurship Award Program for Females

I was the typical kid always begging my mother for money to buy this gadget or those pair of jeans or the best Ugg boots this side of Australia. My mom always gave the same response, “These aren’t priorities for me. My budget can only accommodate priorities.” One day, after one of my long, desperate begging sessions for money to go to the movies, my mom said you’re an African, where is your entrepreneurial spirit? What? Long story short, at age 11, I started my own greeting cards company. I mainly sell my cards at fairs and home shows and I have regular customers who call on me to make cards for them for all occasions. I even have a few cards in local, independent bookstores.

With help from my mom and aunt, I developed a business plan. I opened a bank account. I’m learning to appreciate the importance of saving money. I’m learning about interest. I'm ready to take on the world. My card business is not a Fortune 500 company yet, but I’m working on it.

This is why I am excited about Girls Going Places, the 9th Annual Entrepreneurship Award Program celebrating the spirit of the young, female entrepreneurs. Sponsored by the Guardian Life Insurance Company, this program rewards enterprising girls between the ages of 12-18.

Here’s more information from Guardian:
Guardian grants cash prizes to girls who demonstrate budding entrepreneurship; are taking the first steps toward financial independence; and making a difference in their schools and communities. Prizes are granted as follows: $10,000, first place; $5,000, second place; $3,000 third place; and twelve $1,000 finalist prizes รณ for a total of $30,000. Prizes are granted to help winners and finalists save for college and
continue their entrepreneurial pursuits. Teachers, parents, and community members are encouraged to nominate accomplished young female entrepreneurs between the ages of 12 and 18.
Adults can nominate girls — daughters, nieces, neighbors or students — by submitting a 750-word essay endorsing accomplished young female entrepreneurs. Nominees must also write a 250-word personal statement on entrepreneurship, leadership, financial independence, or giving back to the community.

Additional information about the program and nomination forms for the competition can be found at .

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