Mastercard and Bank of America announced Deidre Mathis, Founder of Wanderstay as the winner of the third annual Grow Your Biz Contest, which called on small business owners across the country to pitch their business plans for the chance to win $25,000 and individual coaching from industry experts on how to take their business to the next level.
This year, small business owners submitted videos answering the question: “How would $25,000 help grow your business?” to the Grow Your Biz microsite. From the submissions, four finalists from across the U.S. were selected to pitch their business plans in New York City at Union Park on November 14th. The Grow Your Biz panel of expert judges, including Create and Cultivate CEO Jaclyn Johnson, host of CNBC’s “Cleveland Hustles” Bonin Bough, Head of North America Small Business for Mastercard Ginger Siegel and Bank of America Small Business Product Management executive Kelly Firment, selected Wanderstay as the grand prize winner.
After having traveled to over 43 countries on all 7 continents, Mathis fell in love with the instant community and cultural diversity hostels provided. She wanted to bring that same experience stateside, and this the concept for Wanderstay was born in Houston, Texas. Wanderstay aims to connect travelers from all over the globe and make travel more accessible by offering affordable private and shared accommodation complete with an instant community.
“We would like to congratulate all four of our finalists, who each brought tremendous passion and innovative ideas to the table,” said Kelly Firment, Small Business Product Management executive at Bank of America. “We were extraordinarily impressed with Deidre Mathis of Wanderstay and look forward to supporting her vision for the next stage of their journey. Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out, we are committed to providing the resources business owners need to help them grow.”
The Grow Your Biz Contest, which launched in 2017, draws submissions from a range of diverse U.S. business owners seeking the opportunity for funding and consultation to help them grow their businesses. This year’s finalists included mental health counseling company, Creative Counseling for Healthy Living, LLC from Illinois, Kentucky-based plant shop and community Forage, mobile dining experience company, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans from Philadelphia and Houston’s modern private and shared accommodations provider Wanderstay. To learn more about each of these passionate business owners, you can watch the Grow Your Biz Contest finalist videos here.
“Every year we are amazed by the diversity of our Grow Your Biz Contest finalists and are inspired by their business drive,” said Ginger Siegel, Head of North America small business, Mastercard. “Together with Bank of America, we continue to provide the tools and solutions small businesses need, but more importantly the one-on-one mentorship, guidance and industry perspective to help them address their unique challenges and thrive.”
Mastercard and Bank of America continue to ensure that small business owners across the U.S. have access to the insight, support and solutions that will help them achieve their growth ambitions every day. The Grow Your Biz Contest is just one program equipping go-getting small business owners with the right resources and expert guidance to take their businesses to the next level.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 2,400 lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions Advisor and 1,900 business centers; approximately 16,600 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with nearly 38 million active users, including approximately 29 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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