NAWBO Orlando Announces 2019 PROPELHER business pitch COMPETITION

Annual Marquee Event Calls for Entries from Women Entrepreneurs to Advance Their Business Ventures

(Nov. 20, 2018 — Orlando, Fla.) Do you have the winning pitch?  Central Florida women business owners from all industries are invited to “Elevate. Soar. Launch and Propel by Helping Your Dreams Take Flight” at the 2nd Annual PropelHER™ Business Pitch Competition organized by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Orlando and its Foundation.  Set for February 12, 2019 at Full Sail Live, PropelHER provides the platform for women entrepreneurs to compete for cash prizes and valuable in-kind services, while learning what’s required to successfully launch or grow a business.  

Interested applicants may apply for the competition by submitting a registration at the NAWBO Orlando website and a $50 application fee. Entries must be received on or before January 10, 2019 and include all required materials: a two-page executive summary, a 45-to 120-second promotional video and a 10-slide pitch deck presentation.  

PropelHER Winners and Finalists from 2018 - Wendy Lyn Phillips, NAWBO Past-President; Amber Harmon, My Nona's Garden; Kristen Wiley, Statusphere (Runner Up - Startup); Caroline Kent, TSecret (Winner - Established); Wendy Romeu, Alluvionic (Runner Up - Established); Nearra Beurrier, Z Metal Works; Doriele Price, Easy Peasie, LLC (Winner - Startup) and Jennifer Dickerson, NAWBO Orlando President.)

PropelHER Winners and Finalists from 2018 - Wendy Lyn Phillips, NAWBO Past-President; Amber Harmon, My Nona's Garden; Kristen Wiley, Statusphere (Runner Up - Startup); Caroline Kent, TSecret (Winner - Established); Wendy Romeu, Alluvionic (Runner Up - Established); Nearra Beurrier, Z Metal Works; Doriele Price, Easy Peasie, LLC (Winner - Startup) and Jennifer Dickerson, NAWBO Orlando President.)

This competition offers real-world opportunities to:

  • Develop and elevate critical skills, such as evaluating opportunities, creating marketing plans, preparing financial statements, leading a team and pitching to investors.

  • Launch a business or business concept by investing in professional and personal growth through a dynamic, invaluable webinar series.  

  • Network and soar with topic experts and fellow PropelHER competitors to unlock a business’s full potential. 

  • Propel a business or business concept by further developing plans for future growth and success. 

A judging panel of experienced business professionals will review all applications. Six finalists (three emerging businesses and three established businesses) will be selected and announced in late January 2019.

Finalists will receive a one-on-one pitch coaching session to prepare for the awards luncheon on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at Full Sail University’s Live Venue in Winter Park. All finalists will pitch their business live on stage, to the panel of judges and the audience.

While NAWBO is a membership driven organization, the competition is open to any business owner, from start-up to established entrepreneur. Get more details and apply by visiting


women who win graduates, 2018

WWW2018 graduates.jpg

In June, we recognized our graduates from the spring Women Who Win mentorship program.

Thank you to Merrill Lynch for sponsoring!  

If you missed this year's event, don't worry. Look for the next Mentoring Session to open at the end of the year and kick off in January 2019.




Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy holds
Roundtable with members from nawbo orlando

United States Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, representing Florida’s seventh district, invited members of NAWBO Orlando to participate in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, May 2, to celebrate National Small Business Week at her office in downtown Orlando. Topics included issues that affect small businesses, particularly women business owners and advocacy for pertinent legislative policies that will encourage growth in the private sector and benefit local economies. 

Representative Murphy opened the roundtable meeting sharing statistics that underscore the impact of women entrepreneurs:

  • Women-owned businesses employ over 9 million workers and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenues.

  • Almost all (99.9%) of women-owned businesses are considered small businesses (fewer than 500 employees).

  • 38 percent of all businesses are women-owned.

As someone who worked for years in the private sector, I understand how challenging it can be to start and grow a small business. During our roundtable, I heard from local business leaders that we must do more to help women entrepreneurs overcome systemic barriers to the capital and resources they need to thrive. I’ll keep working in a bipartisan way to empower all job creators and bring well-paying jobs here to central Florida.
— Rep. Stephanie Murphy

She discussed the Microloan Modernization Act, H.R.2056, a bill she authored to increase access to capital for new and early-phase small businesses, including borrowers with little to no credit history who generally cannot qualify for conventional bank loans. H.R. 2056 would make improvements to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan program, which offers small businesses microloans of $50,000 or less through nonprofit lending intermediaries. The intermediary is also required to provide technical assistance and training to their borrowers and prospective borrowers.

Representative Murphy also discussed her successful initiative to increase overall funding for the SBA’s Women’s Business Centers (WBC) program, an entrepreneurial development program targeted to providing resources and technical assistance to aspiring women entrepreneurs and current business owners.  Representative Murphy was the author of an amendment that was included in the FY 2018 spending bill to increase funding for WBCs by $1 million, from $17 million to $18 million.  The additional funding will allow six to seven new WBCs to open in the country and allow central Florida to compete for one of its own.

“It is particularly fitting that Congresswoman Murphy invite NAWBO to participate in this business roundtable discussion during National Small Business Week, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of H.R. 5050 - the Women's Business Ownership Act, which was 30 years ago in 1988 with the help of NAWBO. Our organization continues to work with legislative leaders across the nation to advance women-owned businesses, and we hope our efforts lead to a comprehensive bipartisan piece of legislation that will advance the women business owner landscape for the next 30 years,” says Wendy Lyn Phillips, NAWBO Orlando President.

Members that participated in the roundtable included:

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  • NAWBO Orlando President, Wendy Lyn Phillips of Wendy Lyn Unlimited Inc., a communications company specializing in business strategy, PR, visual branding, professional image, app deployment, and strategic partnerships.

  • NAWBO Orlando President-Elect and Sponsor/Community Partnership Chair, Jennifer Dickerson, EnRep, a professional services firm geared to helping businesses increase efficiency, safety and profitability while ensuring compliance with local, state and federal regulations.

  • NAWBO Orlando Past President and NAWBO National Board member Lydia Chicles, BOLD! Technologies, an innovations company specializing in mobile app and web development, navigation tools and digital platforms.

  • Rania Arwani, Arwani Law Firm, specializing in personal injury, family and criminal law.

  • NAWBO Orlando Director, Regine Bonneau, RB Advisory, a boutique security firm setting the pace in the governance, risk, compliance and cybersecurity industry.

  • NAWBO Orlando Treasurer, Dalia Cantor, CPA Solutions, an Orlando CPA firm offering a broad range of services for business owners, medical professionals and independent professionals.

  • Maryann Kilgallon, Pink Lotus Technologies, LLC, designs and manufactures consumer brand products.

  • Nicole Perez, New York Life Orlando, provider of financial strategies, insurance, financial products, and funding for employee benefits to businesses and individuals.

  • Christa Santos, CKS Marketing Communications, provides integrated marketing communications for small to medium-sized businesses.

  • NAWBO Orlando Membership Chair, Cassi Willard, Franklin & Willard Law Offices, specializing in intellectual property and entertainment law.


Lydia chicles elected to nawbo's
national board of directors

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) announced its new Board of Directors for 2018-19.  Of the slated members, three new additions to the board include Lydia Chicles, CEO of BOLD! Technologies in Winter Park, FL and a former NAWBO Orlando president.

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The Board of Directors will hold its first meeting on June 17th in Washington, DC, with the official Board Installation taking place the following day.

“It is an absolute honor and I am humbled to continue serving NAWBO, now on the National Board.  It is important to me as I continue to lend my voice to women across all industries. Especially as the need to include more women in traditionally male dominated fields becomes increasingly evident, I’m excited to share my journey and encourage other women to take the leap of ownership! I am hoping that I will be able to provide encouragement and empower other women, especially as they look to scale and grow their business, to join NAWBO so that they may find a sisterhood of likeminded women who will elevate and support them,” says Chicles.

Housed at the National Entrepreneur Center in downtown Orlando, NAWBO Orlando is dedicated to building and empowering a strong community of women entrepreneurs by connecting them with the resources needed to grow their businesses, increase their influence, and stimulate economic development within their communities. 

The local organization does this through its initiatives on a monthly basis that include Lunch and Learn workshops, certification workshops, a mentoring program that connects college business students with business owners, advocacy workshops, an annual PropelHER™ Pitch Competition, after-hours member mixers and more.

“I have always been a global thinker but focused on a local community. My hope is that my efforts on a national level will allow for a transfer of my passion to our NAWBO Orlando women business owners and entrepreneurs. My new role specifically offers me the opportunity to continue growing both personally and professionally as I scale my own business initiatives,” says Chicles.  

NAWBO Orlando’s current president, Wendy Lyn Phillips adds, “Lydia’s appointment to the National Board of Directors at NAWBO is proof that the power of influence matters. Being both a gracious giver who understands the full value of investing in others, as well as an effective leader, Lydia will add immense value on a national level. We are all very proud to see her in this new role and know that she will be an asset.” 

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Teresa Meares of DGG Tactical and Uniform

“My experience is you receive more when you give. I learn more, I am encouraged more, I meet more people, I have more of a network and I have more capacity for understanding. These are just a few things I receive by volunteering my time, efforts and energy with the NAWBO National Board. Working with a group of smart, accomplished women offers many views and opinions, and it is such a learning experience for me. I have also been able to help other women with some of my experiences or knowledge, and it is great when you get that e-mail saying, ‘Thank you for your guidance. I was successful with your help.’ When I go back to my business after a meeting or conference with NAWBO, I am always so energized and determined; I leave with such a ‘can-do’ attitude. My co-workers usually have an extra cup of caffeine my first day back knowing I come back energized!” —Teresa Meares, President of DGG Tactical and Uniform Supply in Jacksonville, Florida