Meet the Winner of Idea Cafe's $1,000.00 Small Business Grant in Honor of Our Late, Great Biz Expert Kent Capener
Leah Larson, founder of YALDAH Magazine, Sharon, Mass., USA
From the field of over 700 applicants, then 184 semifinalists, then 30 finalists, Leah Larson emerged as the one entrepreneur who will receive a $1,000.00 check from IdeaCafe.com to use in her business, YALDAH Magazine.
Leah will send us monthly updates on how her business is doing since receiving Idea Cafe's Grant, so check back here to see how she leverages a cash infusion to build her business.
What did Leah do to win the vote of confidence from Idea Cafe's small business community?
Here's how she explained what her business does: I founded YALDAH magazine in Fall 2004, when I was thirteen-years-old. In the four years since then, YALDAH has grown to have readers around the world. YALDAH magazine is a quarterly magazine 'for Jewish girls, by Jewish girls.' It is printed professionally in full color on glossy paper. Each issue features fiction stories, articles, interviews, crafts, articles, tips, advice, recipes, crafts and more. Every single feature is created by a young Jewish girl, from the idea to the writing of the article, to the photographs and illustrations. All the articles are presented in a fun and light way, but transmit valuable lessons and ethics to young girls.
YALDAH features interviews with smart, talented women of all ages. We've interviewed a girl who sculpts clay illustrations for children's books, a professional balloon twister, a comedian, and various authors. All these women give the message to girls that they can go for their dreams and accomplish something.
YALDAH is also an outlet and forum for girls to share their issues and provides many ways for girls to network with each other.
When asked, "How would you use the grant money?", she said: The key to YALDAH's growth lies in increasing readership. When more girls subscribe, not only does the printing prices go down in bulk, but advertisers are interested in reaching our large readership, and therefore advertise in YALDAH. This expands our budget, and enables us to continue operating, and to grow. All the grant money would go directly into furthering and growing this business venture. A strategic advertising campaign would be launched to target audiences, in order to increase YALDAH readership.
We are also in the middle of getting YALDAH into various bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and the grant money would help cover many of the fees associated with this. The grant money would also be used towards our newest expansion of YALDAH: publishing high- quality books for Jewish girls. We already have authors and plans in progress. The grant money would help further this project.
We asked Leah, "If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your business reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?" We think her plans are a great model for us all: YALDAH is all about 'paying it forward'. Although I do believe that YALDAH is a great business opportunity, when I know how many lives YALDAH has touched, it makes it worthwhile. YALDAH's mission is to inspire and empower youth, especially young girls, to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world. When youth see that a thirteen-year-old girls can successfully publish a magazine, it gives them the confidence to be a leader in their community and take action in bettering the world - whether it's starting a recycling club, community newspaper, or a volunteer organization.
And what about you?
If you're one of the extremely talented applicants who didn't win this grant, we're sorry, but you'll have another chance. Here at Idea Cafe, we aim to make more grants available as often as we can, so keep tabs on Idea Cafe or watch our newsletter for current information on the next Idea Cafe Small Business Grant!
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For grant options check Grants du Jour and other offerings in Idea Cafe's Biz Grant Center.
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