UNF and Swisher International support minority businesses

The Swisher Growth Cohort for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs awards $10,000 in grants.

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Above photo: The 2022 Swisher Growth Cohort for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs. Top row: Taylor Thigpen, Vincent Candor, T.R. Richardson, Monica Hardy, Shabrina Herrera Thomas, Jasmine Grant, Joseph Serrant and Dewitt Robinson. Bottom row: Felicia Wright, Carla Lomack, Cristina Padilla, Mariah Perryman, Rachel Wall, Siobhan Christman and Josh Moore.

The University of North Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in partnership with Swisher International, announced the winners of an Oct. 26 pitch competition for the Swisher Growth Cohort for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs.

The Swisher Growth Cohort is a free eight-week program designed for businesses operating for three to seven years or having a minimum of $20,000 in annual revenue.

The top six companies had the opportunity to compete for a share of $10,000 to support the development of their business at the pitch competition.

Three winners received $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000:

• 1st place: Felicia Wright with Mygani LLC, a lifestyle accessory brand that creates inspirational products for women and girls of color.

• 2nd place: Monica Hardy with E’fek-tiv Enterprise LLC, a professional consulting and writing service.

• 3rd Place: Taylor Thigpen with Plantkingusa, an online horticulture business and nursery in Clay County.

All Swisher Growth cohort members were recognized and had exhibit tables for guests to shop and learn about their business. 

The 2022 participants are Carla Lomack with Class Management Group LLC; Christina Padilla with Thrive Family Chiropractic; Dewitt Robinson with Robinson Excel Inc.; Jasmine Grant with Jazzed Up Treats and Sweets; Joseph Serrant with Jeltech Floor Measuring Service; Josh Moore and Siobhan Christman with Masterpiece Lifestyles Solar; Mariah Perryman with Faven Essentials; Meghan Barbera with Seductive Foods; Rachel Wall with Do Good Beauty; Sabrina Herrera Thomas with Florida Clinical Solutions Academy LLC; Shakesha Gantt with Gantt Staffing Solutions; Shane Grindle with Integrative Med Group; T. R. Richardson with Richwood International; Tyrica Moore with TeaPosh Naturals; and Vincent Candor with Solvency.

Swisher and UNF’s center created the region’s first free development program for underrepresented entrepreneurs, according to a news release from the university.

Participants work with the center to improve their business knowledge and growth plans through workshops, speaker events and mentoring.