What would you do with $25,000 in business capital? Each year, during our annual pitch contest, Keys To Success, we award entrepreneurs with needed funding to grow or expand their businesses. To date, we are proud to say we have awarded multicultural women entrepreneurs more than $225,000.
In anticipation for our upcoming contest – Keys To Success: Fall Pop Up and our $25,000 pitch competition in May 2020 – we caught up with a few of our past winners to see – WHERE IS SHE NOW?
Tamara Turner, owner of Silver Spoon Dessert was last year’s grand prize finalist. For her – this amazing opportunity was the catalyst she needed to launch her business on a global scale. Silver Spoon Desserts is a premium and indulgent manufacturer that specializes in miniature bundt cakes for the business to business, special events and food service industry.
Above: Tamara receives $25,000 award at the Odyssey Network Business Retreat, presented by Terrez Thompson of The Coca-Cola Company.
How did you initially learn about the capital pitch contest, Keys to Success?
Tamara: I became aware of Keys to Success from my son Jordan. He received a notification on his Facebook from my cousin Lynette. He sent me the information a week before the application was due.
How did the increase in capital help to expand your business?
Tamara: The increase in capital allowed me to start the company, pay for insurance, pay for additional time at the shared kitchen, purchase baking supplies and inventory. Inadvertently, the increase in capital expanded my confidence that I would be able to raise additional funding.
Each finalist had to go through one-on-one coaching sessions – Do you feel this helped your overall business model and strategic plan?
Tamara: Yes, it was helpful to have someone else share tips and offer suggestions. Terrez Thompson, vice president, global supplier diversity, from The Coca-Cola Company has been my greatest cheerleader. We were able to create a simple roadmap and she made valuable introductions to her colleagues in the industry.
What advice would you give to future applicants?
Tamara: 1. You can do it!! Whether you win any competition or not, believe in yourself, your dream, create a plan and go for it!!
- Be wise on the counsel you take. Everyone will become a talking head and tell you things they would do or not do. This will create doubt and cloud your vision. Get 2-3 people that have your full interest at heart and preferably those that have been successful in business to be your advisors.
Tamara has since secured contracts with local businesses and nationwide companies and has even hired two employees. Tamara has been featured in the news, and was chosen as a semifinalist and finalist for Windy City Live and Peapod’s Next Best in April of 2019.
Tamara, congratulations on your success! You can find more about Tamara and her amazing cakes at https://www.silverspoondesserts.com/.
Keys to Success is a unique program designed by women just like you who want to address the number one challenge that multicultural female business owners tend to face: access to capital. Odyssey Media deeply understands the inherit fear and apprehension that multicultural women, especially black women, can experience when pitching their businesses, negotiating with investors, and applying for credit lines or traditional loans. Keys To Success is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative. The 5by20 program seeks to empower five million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020. To learn more, or to apply for this year’s competition, click here.