Alibaba announced the 50 entrepreneurs each receiving $10,000 grants from the first-ever Alibaba.com Grants Program that awarded a total of $500,000 to small businesses.
Recipients were selected from a pool of more than 12,000 applicants who submitted their product idea or go-to-market strategy for consideration by Alibaba.com’s panel of expert judges.
Alibaba.com’s Grants Program supports today’s Entrepreneur Economy by providing much-needed capital and resources to New Digital Entrepreneurs who are starting businesses online.
The program is in partnership with Hello Alice, which is a virtual accelerator that helps startups navigate the challenges of raising capital with a track record of helping many underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Almost half (44%) of New Digital Entrepreneurs say they needed $5,000 or less in the first six months of launching their business. Alibaba.com’s Grants Program applicants highlighted this need in their applications, citing raising capital as their top business challenge of 2021.
In addition to the opportunity for grants, the thousands of applicants all have access to the Alibaba.com Digitization Sprint for Retailers, gaining valuable insight into eCommerce basics like sourcing, digital advertising and supply chain management.
“Today’s New Digital Entrepreneurs are erasing the boundaries of what’s possible and changing the way we think, work and live. At Alibaba.com, it’s our mission to make it easy for businesses to do business anywhere, which is why it’s an honor to support this group of incredibly inspiring entrepreneurs with start-up capital to catalyze their businesses and grow on their own terms. We can’t wait to see what these entrepreneurs accomplish.”John Caplan, President of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com and judging panel member
The group of 50 grant recipients includes entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
“Starting a business is challenging no matter the circumstances. But we know certain socioeconomic factors can make the entrepreneurial journey even more difficult. That’s why we’re proud to share that almost 80% of the Alibaba.com Grants Program recipients are people of color and about 78% are women entrepreneurs. Importantly, almost 90% of recipients shared that the vast majority of their teams hail from historically underrepresented groups, including persons with disabilities, military veterans and LGBTQ+.”Elizabeth Gore, President and Co-founder of Hello Alice
The 50 Alibaba.com Grants Program recipients include entrepreneurs with business plans to help create a more healthy, sustainable, beautiful, knowledgeable or equitable world.
At the end of the application period in late October, applications were evaluated by Alibaba.com’s expert judging panel from the eCommerce ecosystem.
Each judge brought a diversity of perspectives to the application review process and included:
- John Caplan, President of North America and Europe of Alibaba.com
- Elizabeth Gore, President and Co-founder of Hello Alice
- TJ Hyland, Director of Global Partnerships at Elevate Brands
- Ines Belakhdar, Founder and CEO of conscious fashion retailer Bynes NY
- Tatiana James, entrepreneur and ecommerce expert
Alibaba.com Grants Program Recipients
|Baddie Labs Cosmetics||Keneshia Berkley||IL|
|Bao Box LLC||Si-Chi Hefel||WA|
|Be Happy Handcrafted||Bianka Hollind||WA|
|Brilliant You Denim||Terry L Davis||NC|
|Cecile Blancarte Corporation dba Blancarte||Cecile Blancarte||CA|
|Cloth Cuties||Jamie Frank||TX|
|Copper and Brass Paper Goods||Ariel Young||GA|
|Copper Door Coffee Roasters||Hannah Ulbrich||CO|
|Curly Contessa||Kristin Farmer||AL|
|Curtis & Company Apparel||Angelica Curtis||CA|
|Element Mom||Sarah Li||CA|
|Eva Jane Beauty, LLC||Eva Jane Bunkley||GA|
|Fairy Circle Garden||Jeremy Jackson||TX|
|FEND Corp.||Sujene Kong||NY|
|First Sip Brew Box||Dennis Guy||PA|
|Gelateria Uli LLC||Uli Nasibova||CA|
|Global Sense||Elizabeth Strickland||TX|
|Hi Mat Company||Lynzi Clark||UT|
|Inside Out Bars, LLC DBA Inside Out Goodness||Seth Sundberg||CA|
|Joiful Bee LLC||Joi Wade||FL|
|Kaka'ako Kasuals||Kiakahi Wong||HI|
|LipRevolt, LLC||Courtney Stewart||GA|
|Miss Swiss LLC||Ashley Piszek||PA|
|Nick Ricardo Collection||Nick Yeast||CA|
|OmniVis Inc.||Katherine Clayton||CA|
|Parents Are Human LLC||Joseph Lam||CA|
|Paris Fit LLC||Noel Davis||PA|
|Pink Scissors Stationery LLC dba Nailstry||Aurelia Edwards||FL|
|Play Out Apparel||Abby Sugar||NY|
|Rooted Fare||Ashley Xie||CA|
|Rugged Black Athleisure Activewear||Matt Addison||CO|
|Scarlett Collection||Morgan Kelley||GA|
|SHE Support Heal Empower||Sierra Williams||NJ|
|SortJoy||Alexa Cohn, Stefani Herr||CA|
|Status Co. LLC||Tenita Strand||AL|
|STEM POWERED KITS||Zakiya Brown||GA|
|The Crease Beast LLC||Matt Jones||CA|
|The Lofty Collector Solutions LLC.||Ricardo Castro||CA|
|The Milk Mission LLC,||Gina VanCant||OH|
|The Refill Shoppe||Michelle Stevens||CA|
|The Solar Guru||Ali Turner||NE|
|Unique Threads||Sheriff Muse-Ariyoh||GA|
|Vecina Couture||Ada Rojas||IL|
|Wicks + Scents®||Shauna Cooper||SC|
Applications were reviewed based on the entrepreneur’s demonstration of the market opportunity, the business model/product innovation, and their plans for using the funds to grow their business.
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