South LA’s got hustle, and VSEDC is here to fuel it! We recently wrapped up our annual HerStory International Women’s History Month celebration with a women-owned business pitch competition. Fierce and inspiring, the event honored the incredible women shaping our community’s future and showcasing their innovative ideas.

VSEDC founder Marva Smith Battle-Bey believed in the power of entrepreneurship to build a thriving South LA, and this pitch competition embodied that spirit.

Six sensational women entrepreneurs—three startups and three established small businesses—stepped up to the plate and pitched their ventures to a panel of expert judges. Each vying to win cash prizes to take their ventures to the next level, they came from all walks of life but shared an incredible passion for entrepreneurship.

Each contestant brought their A-game, and we had to pick some winners!

  • Startup Category:
    • 1st Place: Teresa Campbell, rocking the fashion scene with the inclusive Size Beautiful.
    • 2nd Place: Kimberly Townes, catering to anglers with her top-notch bait and tackle at All City Baits
    • 3rd Place: Kalalah Harvey, reinventing car care convenience with The Wiz Wash
  • Small Business Category:
    • 1st Place: Brittany Golden, promoting self-care and fierce nails with IGL Nails
    • 2nd Place: Ashley Harding, taking education to the next level with North Star Academics.
    • 3rd Place: Tashiba Jones-Wilson, curating a community of style with Matte-Argyle.

Even the runners-up to the finalist competition received a moment in the spotlight! A surprise lightning round gave these talented entrepreneurs a chance to share their vision:

…with Danyelle Benware ultimately winning the $500 Audience Choice Award for her innovative, eco-friendly hair care products.

We also recognized three phenomenal women who are making waves in our community:

  • Raquel A. Bone: A financial powerhouse who uses her expertise to empower other women entrepreneurs.
  • Maria Jimenez-Torres: The visionary leader behind Plaza De La Raza, keeping arts education thriving in East LA.
  • Margaret White: A construction industry leader breaking barriers and creating opportunities for local residents.

Thinking of starting your own business or taking your existing venture to the next level? VSEDC is here for you! We’re committed to supporting women entrepreneurs in South LA. We offer a toolbox full of resources to help you thrive, including:

Also, Did you know less than 1% of venture capital goes to Black women founders? That’s unaccaptable. We’re working hard at VSEDC to change that narrative.

Don’t let your entrepreneurial dreams stay on hold! Visit VSEDC today and take the first step towards turning your vision into reality.