Scroll for more information on 2023’s award winners, Marketplace Vendors, and more!
2023 Women Mean Business Award Winners
Learn more about Carley
Wildflyer Coffee, founded in 2020 by Executive Director Carley Kammerer, is helping to break the cycle of homelessness by providing youth a four-month employment training program to cultivate the personal and professional skills needed to find and maintain stable employment and leave homelessness for good. The impact the program has had in just 3 years is so significant that Wildflyer opened its second location in St. Paul this spring.
Resilience Award: Vanessa Drews, Cheesecake Funk
Learn more about Vanessa
After a nudge from Prince, Cheesecake Funk founder Vanessa Drews stepped away from her legal career in 2019 to create an out-of-this-world experience for her customers with delicious cheesecake. Vanessa’s wholesale business suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she was not eligible to receive relief funding, but she persevered, and Cheesecake Funk is thriving by adding more customers every day while expanding product footprint across Minnesota.
Expanding Business Award: Jenifer Bellefleur & Kelsey Lee Karol, New Gild Jewelers
Learn more about Jenifer & Kelsey
In just six years New Gild Jewelers co-owners Jenifer Bellefleur and Kelsey Lee Karol have grown their revenue over 300% and opened a second location crafting jewelry the old-fashioned way, one piece at a time. They encountered substantial obstacles on their journey to business ownership–but with the help of WomenVenture’s lending program, they survived a pandemic, added a diverse staff, and proudly pay a living wage.
Emcee, Jasmine Brett Stringer
Learn more about Jasmine Brett Stringer
Jasmine Brett Stringer has been called a lifestyle expert, social media maven, on-air TV
personality, and even called a “Carrier of The Light” by Oprah Winfrey. As an award-winning
author and keynote speaker, Jasmine is on a mission to help people live empowered and
authentic lives by sharing her Seize Your Life philosophy.
Jasmine believes Seizing Your Life is the ability to fully engage in the present while
continually striving towards your vision. With this common-sense approach to creating a life of
one’s own, Jasmine has inspired thousands of people across the world to carpe diem!
Jasmine has shared her positive message to corporate and nonprofit organizations such as
Land O’ Lakes, Best Buy, Federal Reserve Bank, Airbnb, Cargill, Goodwill, Bayer, and the
University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
She was named a Twin Cities Fearless Woman in 2017 and a Woman of Promise by the Girl
Scouts in 2012. Additionally, Jasmine was awarded Distinguished Alumna of American
University and was featured by Ebony Magazine as one of its “30 Future Leaders Under the
Age of 30 in America.”
Women Mean Business Marketplace
WomenVenture was thrilled to host 40 vendors at our 2023 Women Mean Business Event! Visit the full list for details and links to support these small businesses!
Our sponsors allow WomenVenture to continue to support women entrepreneurs by providing education and resources through our training and loan programs including:
- Resources for low-income training clients, materials for classes, mentor and volunteer training, and curriculum development.
- Pre-loan and post-loan coaching including underwriting time, materials, and closing costs.
- Community support and mentorship opportunities to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.
WomenVenture is grateful for the support of our Women Mean Business event sponsors and government partners.
Photos from Women Mean Business 2023
Photos courtesy of Francis Sampah. View the full gallery.