Three Local Female Entrepreneurs to be Honored

Tina North, Katie Kimball and Madi Lommen to Receive Awards

The 18th annual WomenVenture Fall Event fundraising luncheon is a celebration of women and entrepreneurs. It brings together a wide range of professionals, community leaders and individuals, each sharing a common desire to invest in the economic success of women. This year, in addition to an inspiring keynote address from orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer Taryn Rose, WomenVenture will honor three local female entrepreneurs with the annual Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained award in three categories: Expanding Business, Startup Business and One to Watch.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the WomenVenture Fall Event will feature a Client Showcase and Marketplace with more than 40 vendor booths from local and women-owned businesses. Guests will have the opportunity to shop, network and make new business connections.

"The Fall Event is WomenVenture’s largest fundraiser of the year, and a significant day of generating support for the organization’s programs and services for women," said Elaine Wyatt, WomenVenture Executive Director. "Because of the generosity of donors on this single day, WomenVenture is able to guide hundreds of women just like Tina, Katie and Madi in their journeys to start and grow their small businesses in Minnesota."

About The Award Winners

Tina North, Owner, Moss Envy; Honored with the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Expanding Business Award

 Tina North began her foray into eco-entrepreneurship in 2006 with the launch of a retail venture featuring sustainable products.  The business was profitable, even in the recession, and much of its success was due to Tina's keen ability to give her customers what they wanted.  As the preferences of the green community changed, Tina took a more refined approach to the merchandise, and the store.  In 2010, the business was re-branded as Moss Envy and opened its doors in a fresh new space near Lake Calhoun.  Event attendees will learn how Tina’s business is expanding with a second location, due to open by the spring of 2014, and how WomenVenture has been with her every step of the way.

Katie Kimball, Owner & Lead Instructor, Twin Cities Trapeze Center; Honored with the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Startup Business Award

Katie Kimball had a perfect credit history and a solid business plan, but couldn't get a bank loan.  Having trained and worked at an aerial arts center in California for more than a decade, Katie knew a similar concept could work in Minnesota.  She considered using credit cards to get the business off the ground, but wasn't ready to rack up the high interest debt.  After doing some research and meeting with a local and family-owned bank, Katie was directed to WomenVenture.  Event attendees will learn how WomenVenture took a chance on Katie and provided her with a microloan, and how she has been able to realize her dream because of it.

Madi Lommen, Chief Baking Officer, Madibanani Bread Company; Honored with the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: One to Watch Award

It all began when 17-year-old Madi Lommen sold her popular banana bread to raise money for a school trip to Thailand. Some 200 loaves later, she was on the ground doing volunteer work in the country and she fell in love with its culture and people. Her group encountered an orphanage project that was $10,000 short of completion, and together they vowed to raise the remaining money needed once they returned home to Minnesota. Madi’s contribution came from continued sales of her banana bread, which prompted her to officially launch her business, Madibanani.  Event attendees will learn about Madi’s journey and how WomenVenture helped its youngest entrepreneurial client receive a micro grant when traditional banks would not fund her venture.

About WomenVenture

WomenVenture is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to helping women attain economic self-sufficiency through the creation and growth of profitable and sustainable businesses. Over the past three decades, the organization has provided more than 100,000 women of all ages, cultures, races and income levels with the tools and resources to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.