We are delighted to announce the winners of the first Giving Joy Women Entrepreneur Grant! We will follow their progress and provide monthly updates on their activities on the Giving Joy site. Please congratulate our winners!
Iliana Panameño and Mu-Chieh Yun are the founders of We, Ceremony, a digital platform that uses storytelling to empower and celebrate all women of color. In using personal narratives as a tool, they create representation and genuine and dignified opportunities for women of color. Through storytelling, they have created a community of fearless, innovative, and beautiful women of color. Today, We, Ceremony is a network of over 2,000 women of color who take pride in their lived experiences and are redefining what it means to be both a woman and a person of color. Their approach in using storytelling as a tool humanizes the way we exist in this world and facilitates intentional spaces where they can have dialogues on the issues and challenges impacting our communities. They will use the Giving Joy grant to cover the operational costs (marketing, refreshments, and equipment) for our events in 2019. Ultimately, with their collected stories, they want We, Ceremony to be the go-to hub or decision-maker in messaging, products, or services that are targeted towards our communities.
Lilian Chebet is from Western County in Kenya. She grows onions on a small scale farm. Farming supports her and also helps her siblings. Her goal is to grow her business to get enough funds to support here siblings with school fees so they may have a brighter future. She will use the grant to boost her farm, enable her to grow more crops, buy fertilization and other supplies and expand her business.
Ngoc-Tran Vu is a Vietnamese American multimedia artist and cultural organizer. Her socially engaged practice draws from her experience in community organizing, education and healing. Her art provokes thoughts and questions surrounding identity, community, politics, and spirituality. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Dorchester and South Boston, both working-class neighborhoods of Massachusetts. Her family came to the United States as political refugees from the Vietnam War and it is through this lens that her sense of the world is shaped.
She is a working artist and her business is her art practice titled “Tran Vu Arts” in community-based projects and engagement. Her vision in the next 1-2 years is to grow her business and practice so that she can sustain herself as a full-time artist based on funded projects, commissioned work and perhaps teaching gigs here and there. She will use the Giving Joy grant to educate herself in stronger financial management and organization to create a more sustainable practice.
Dorcas King'ori is a young entrepreneur from Kenya. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), however, after graduation she could not find employment. She did not give up and had the urge to become a business woman. She invested 5000 Kenya Shillings (approx. $50) and started buying and selling handbags (which she loves as many women do). She aspires to increase her business online and improve her store as well as mentor other women who did not even go to school how to make a living independently. Dorcas will use the Giving Joy grant to increase stock, and buy a larger variety of goods to satisfy her customers.