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43North is a startup competition in a league of its own that has given away more than $5 million to entrepreneurs. Just recently, 17-year old entrepreneur Zandra Cunningham won the organization’s collaborative M/WBE business plan competition designed to elevate the profile of minority and women business owners. It’s called The Pitch, and after pitching her social goods brand, Zandra prevailed as the $15,000 grand prize winner in the Growth Companies category.
This enterprising young lady started her natural skin care company at the tender age of 9 yrs. old in Buffalo, NY. After refusing her almost daily requests for more lip products Zandra credits her dad James with inspiring her to take the plunge into learning to create natural skin care products. When he said no, he also suggested she make her own and with the help of her mom
What started as a way for her to satiate her youthful thirst for all things lip balm blossomed into a thriving business. Zandra started small only offering a limited number of lip balms and whipped shea butter creams. With help from her mom Tamara, Zandra Beauty now offers over 40 products and has turned into a profitable company worth over $500K that Zandra uses to inspire youth entrepreneurs and empower young girls by speaking to young groups and donating 10% of all net profits to support girls’ education. In addition to an expanded line of lip balms Zandra Beauty also offers a line of aluminum-free and paraben-free deodorant, lotions and body washes.
This energetic go-getter has already been featured on Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Harry, hosted by Harry Connick Jr and TEDx Buffalo. Zandra’s advice, from Today, to young people thinking of starting a business? Be prepared to dedicate yourself to do hard work, get involved in your community, start a foundation and do detailed research on whatever product or service you want to offer. Great advice really for anyone wanted to start a business.
Zandra Beauty products can be purchased online or in boutiques and gift shops across the U.S. Check the website for locations.