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The Build Your Legacy Contest Winners Have Been Announced!

Essence logo Essence 7/4/2020
a young girl sitting on a table © Provided by Essence

Pine-Sol and ESSENCE launched the Build Your Legacy Contest on March 1st and had over six hundred entrants sharing their stories. 

a woman smiling for the camera: Market 7 is a community marketplace that features Black-owned businesses in Washington, DC; created for the purpose of alleviating the food and retail deserts in Ward 7.   Founded and led by Ward 7 resident, Mary Blackford, Market 7’s mission is to revitalize and restore the economic stability, holistic health, and the social needs of the residents in Ward 7 by developing sustainable commerce within the community. Over the last 3 years Market 7 has worked with 60 black-owned businesses in the Washington, DC area to create alternative community market pop-ups that includes fresh food, lifestyle products, and home items in Ward 7.  Market 7’s new project is a 7,000 sq ft food hall that will include a community grocery store and several food stall incubations that will represent culinary favoritesfrom across the Diaspora. The objectives of the new food hall are to alleviate food deserts in Ward 7 by creating a marketplace sourced with products and food concepts by Black-owned businesses, promote good health through sustainable lifestyle products, and build an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs in an effort to cultivate access to educational resources, inspire innovation, and build profitableenterprises.   Market 7’s new food hall is slated to open in 2021.    To learn more, visit www.market7dc.com. © Provided by Essence Market 7 is a community marketplace that features Black-owned businesses in Washington, DC; created for the purpose of alleviating the food and retail deserts in Ward 7.

Founded and led by Ward 7 resident, Mary Blackford, Market 7’s mission is to revitalize and restore the economic stability, holistic health, and the social needs of the residents in Ward 7 by developing sustainable commerce within the community. Over the last 3 years Market 7 has worked with 60 black-owned businesses in the Washington, DC area to create alternative community market pop-ups that includes fresh food, lifestyle products, and home items in Ward 7.

Market 7’s new project is a 7,000 sq ft food hall that will include a community grocery store and several food stall incubations that will represent culinary favoritesfrom across the Diaspora. The objectives of the new food hall are to alleviate food deserts in Ward 7 by creating a marketplace sourced with products and food concepts by Black-owned businesses, promote good health through sustainable lifestyle products, and build an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs in an effort to cultivate access to educational resources, inspire innovation, and build profitableenterprises.

Market 7’s new food hall is slated to open in 2021.

To learn more, visit www.market7dc.com.

While we set out to award $100,000 to one Black woman entrepreneur initially, to address the demand, we decided to double our commitment and give a total of $250,000.

a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Financial Garden teaches youth, adults and educators how to win with money and has impacted the lives of over 700 youth! Founder, Tasha Danielle, CPA, developed the idea to improve the financial health of youth by teaching the importance of: emotions and money, entrepreneurship, budgeting, banking, debt fundamentals and investing during her own personal journey of paying off $80k of debt before the age of 30! Financial Garden published a children's book "Amina's Bracelets: A Kidpreneur Story" to plant the seed of legacy and entrepreneurship in every child.  To learn more, visit www.financialgarden.com. © Provided by Essence Financial Garden teaches youth, adults and educators how to win with money and has impacted the lives of over 700 youth! Founder, Tasha Danielle, CPA, developed the idea to improve the financial health of youth by teaching the importance of: emotions and money, entrepreneurship, budgeting, banking, debt fundamentals and investing during her own personal journey of paying off $80k of debt before the age of 30! Financial Garden published a children's book "Amina's Bracelets: A Kidpreneur Story" to plant the seed of legacy and entrepreneurship in every child.

To learn more, visit www.financialgarden.com.

Now, our Grand Prize winner will receive $150,000, and our two remaining semi-finalists will also receive $15,000 each.  Finally, we are awarding seven additional entrants $10,000 each for their business.

a person smiling for the camera: Black People Will Swim is an organization working to smash the stereotype that Black people don’t swim. Founded by Journalist and lifelong athlete Paulana Lamonier, the organization has a goal of teaching 2,020 Black people how to swim by 2020. Encouraging the community to face their fears, Black People Will Swim educates by debunking myths and exposing the racial history of Black people and water on both a national and international level. BPWS is committed to hiring qualified instructors of color at a competitive rate. The team is working to bring awareness to the disparity in lieu of in person instruction due to COVID-19. Their #MySwimStory campaign takes a deep dive into the varied stories the Black community has with water. From having a near-drowning incident at a water park as a kid to growing up near beaches in the Caribbean, they know that Black stories aren’t monolithic. Through this campaign, they are working to explore what makes our stories unique, compelling and why we should learn how to swim.  To learn more, visit www.blackpeoplewillswim.com. © Provided by Essence Black People Will Swim is an organization working to smash the stereotype that Black people don’t swim. Founded by Journalist and lifelong athlete Paulana Lamonier, the organization has a goal of teaching 2,020 Black people how to swim by 2020. Encouraging the community to face their fears, Black People Will Swim educates by debunking myths and exposing the racial history of Black people and water on both a national and international level. BPWS is committed to hiring qualified instructors of color at a competitive rate. The team is working to bring awareness to the disparity in lieu of in person instruction due to COVID-19. Their #MySwimStory campaign takes a deep dive into the varied stories the Black community has with water. From having a near-drowning incident at a water park as a kid to growing up near beaches in the Caribbean, they know that Black stories aren’t monolithic. Through this campaign, they are working to explore what makes our stories unique, compelling and why we should learn how to swim.

To learn more, visit www.blackpeoplewillswim.com.

Pine-Sol and ESSENCE are proud of our commitment to empowering Black female entrepreneurs.

a person posing for the camera: Founded by Mavis Gragg (the attorney) and Otis Jennings (the mathematician), HeirShares, LLC is a startup with a mission to educate individuals and families about family land management and to provide tools that simplify it.  Through her work on complex heirs property matters, Mavis met hundreds of individuals and families grappling with joint ownership of their family land without knowledge and resources to do so effectively and peacefully. The issues ranged from identifying who the co-owners are to sharing expenses to making important legal decisions, and more- all issues that resonated with Mavis as an heirs property owner herself. So, Mavis joined forces with her longtime friend and consultant, Otis, to create HeirShares.    HeirShares is developing a suite of tools that guides families from ownership resolution to sustainable, consensus-based land use. The first tool, TreeBuilder, empowers users to unlock critical information about their family’s land ownership through the use of family tree information, legal interpretation, and algorithms. © Provided by Essence Founded by Mavis Gragg (the attorney) and Otis Jennings (the mathematician), HeirShares, LLC is a startup with a mission to educate individuals and families about family land management and to provide tools that simplify it.

Through her work on complex heirs property matters, Mavis met hundreds of individuals and families grappling with joint ownership of their family land without knowledge and resources to do so effectively and peacefully. The issues ranged from identifying who the co-owners are to sharing expenses to making important legal decisions, and more- all issues that resonated with Mavis as an heirs property owner herself. So, Mavis joined forces with her longtime friend and consultant, Otis, to create HeirShares.

HeirShares is developing a suite of tools that guides families from ownership resolution to sustainable, consensus-based land use. The first tool, TreeBuilder, empowers users to unlock critical information about their family’s land ownership through the use of family tree information, legal interpretation, and algorithms.

Please meet our winners!

a person standing posing for the camera: Kobi Wu is the founder and CEO of VisuWall Technologies. VisuWall is computer vision and visuwall code software that enables any storefront to become a source of rich data and insights that informs demographic and consumer behaviors to the sku. VisuWall’s successes have included advertising campaigns for Apple Music, Kelloggs, Celine, Burberry, Harry’s, Bumble, Google et al. VisuWall is brand category agnostic and works with private landlords, institutional owners and brokers. They are now aligning for a new user case, enabling retailers with a contactless shopping experience.   As CEO of VisuWall, Wu has been honored as Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs for 2017 and 2018. She was the first Place Winner at Black Women Talk Tech Pitch Competition 2018, a graduate scholar of the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses program, participated in XRC Labs, Cohort 6 and was a presenter at TEDx Fulton Street 2018. VisuWall was also a finalist on Meet the Drapers and a presenter at ShopTalk Startup Pitch Competition Q1, 2019.   To learn more, visit https://visuwall.com.

Kobi Wu is the founder and CEO of VisuWall Technologies. VisuWall is computer vision and visuwall code software that enables any storefront to become a source of rich data and insights that informs demographic and consumer behaviors to the sku. VisuWall’s successes have included advertising campaigns for Apple Music, Kelloggs, Celine, Burberry, Harry’s, Bumble, Google et al. VisuWall is brand category agnostic and works with private landlords, institutional owners and brokers. They are now aligning for a new user case, enabling retailers with a contactless shopping experience.

As CEO of VisuWall, Wu has been honored as Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs for 2017 and 2018. She was the first Place Winner at Black Women Talk Tech Pitch Competition 2018, a graduate scholar of the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses program, participated in XRC Labs, Cohort 6 and was a presenter at TEDx Fulton Street 2018. VisuWall was also a finalist on Meet the Drapers and a presenter at ShopTalk Startup Pitch Competition Q1, 2019.

To learn more, visit https://visuwall.com.
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