The black owned luxury leather goods brand awards grants quarterly as part of program helping female entrepreneurs start, grow and scale their businesses.
Silver & Riley continued the commitment to supporting minority owned businesses with the second round of grants awarded through their Buy 1, Give 5 program. This round focused on businesses started less than two years ago by black women founders. This specific focus was chosen due to the difficulty this group has in securing other grant funds as most grant programs stipulate that businesses must be over two years old to qualify. Over 200 applicants vied for the cash awards and founders Nana Meriwether, Ornella Yovo, and Toyin Olaleye proved to be the strongest applicants, chosen based on their passion, business model, scalability and impact. To date, seven female Founders have been awarded Silver & Riley Buy 1, Give 5 grants.
Founder Lola Banjo shared “Awarding these grants in the midst of the current economic disruptions due to COVID-19 is timely and necessary. It’s important that we continue to celebrate and support female entrepreneurs both by giving them props and financial support they need to keep going. Every purchase of a Silver & Riley product grows and assures the longevity of the grants.”
$1,000 Grant Winners
Nana Meriwether Founder of Cale – A wellness company focusing on alcohol alternatives. Meriwether is a philanthropist, former professional athlete, and beauty pageant titleholder. She competed at Miss USA 2012 and finished as the first runner-up. In 2012, winner Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe, and Meriwether assumed the title of Miss USA.
$500 Grant Winners
Ornella Yovo Co-Founder of O-Squared – The company offers a suite of business services including financial services and general counsel. With a background in Wealth Management and an entrepreneur herself, Yovo takes a unique approach, profit first with logical, easy to follow practices to make running a business peaceful and effective.
Toyin Olaleye Founder of Kamoky – Kamoky was created in 2019 to connect people to local Afro businesses to foster growth in the African community. I want our businesses and services to be more visible so that we buy from and sell to each other and in doing so, advance our own economies.
About Silver & Riley,
Founded in 2019, ten years of planning, research and development birthed a new line of classic, timeless luxury goods cut from the best quality leather available. Made in Italy, the Silver & Riley collections feature premium full grain leather designed to develop a rich patina overtime. The line includes stylish and functional leather goods for all, for work, travel, and everyday use. Prices range from $65 to $795.
Lola Banjo, Founder and Designer, incorporated years of traveling for business as a Strategist, her love of fashion and background in engineering to create functional products that are incredibly stylish. Each product is thoughtfully crafted to make the user’s life easier. The fashion bags can be worn in multiple ways (e.g. the belt bag can be worn as a clutch and the Executive Convertible Handbag can also be worn as a backpack).
With philanthropy at its core, the brand incepted the “Buy 1, Give 5” program in 2019. Five percent of net sales are added to a fund that awards grants quarterly to women founders domestically and in emerging economies. The Silver & Riley Female Entrepreneurship Grants focuses on grants to businesses started by underrepresented minority women in the United States, while the other half of the program focuses on working with non-profit partners in emerging economies to support business literacy and entrepreneurship for women.
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