DETROIT.   November 1, 2018–On Wednesday, Nov. 7, 10 woman-owned businesses will go head-to-head in a pitch competition at 5:30 p.m. at NextEnergy, 461 Burroughs.  The public event is sponsored by Michigan Women Forward with support from the Consumers Energy Foundation. The participating companies, divided into lifestyle and growth companies, have been narrowed down from an initial field of over 140 applicants.

The finalists are:


  • Birch Bride, LLC, Whitmore Lake
  • GreenHouse Soups & Chilli, Allen Park
  • Jo’s Gallery 2 LLC, Detroit
  • Buttons 2 Button Inc., Northville
  • Team Fit, Inc., St. Clair



  • Dough, Ann Arbor
  • PocketNest, Ann Arbor
  • FrontWest Customs Brokerage & Services LLC, Romulus
  • SignOn, Grosse Pointe Farms
  • Dearborn Career Academy, Dearborn Heights

All finalists receive support services and technical assistance. Winners in each category at each location will be awarded cash prizes as follows:

  • 1st Place                $10,000
  • 2nd Place               $5,000
  • 3rd Place                $2,500
  • Audience Choice    $1,000 (One winner per location)

Similar competitions are scheduled for Grand Rapids on Nov. 8 and Jackson on Nov. 14.

“We at Consumers Energy are committed to creating opportunities for everyone in our state, particularly female entrepreneurs who can bring new ideas to the table,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s Vice President of Customer Experience. “The Woman Up Pitch Competitions illustrate the diversity that exists in Michigan’s workforce. When these businesses can thrive, we all win.”

“We are proud to bring this opportunity in Detroit, Jackson and Grand Rapids in 2018,” said Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of Michigan Women Forward. “This influx of capital can make a big difference to our winning companies as they start or grow their businesses.”

Since 2014, MWF has loaned $2,391,200 to 93 businesses, in addition to 74 pitch competition prizes and investments totaling $468,400. The Consumers Energy Foundation has contributed $200,000 to Michigan Women Forward this year toward its Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The session is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.  For information, visit


Michigan Women Forward (MWF), a 501(c)(3) organization, has been devoted to achieving social and economic equality for women and girls in Michigan for more than 30 years. MWF is supported financially and programmatically by many of the state’s top female executives and community volunteers through events like its annual Women of Achievement and Courage Awards and Power of 100 Women donor group.  Through philanthropy and high impact initiatives, MWF’s goal is to ensure a brighter future for women throughout the state.  For more information, visit

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. The Consumers Energy Foundation has been the charitable arm of Consumers Energy since 1990. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables Michigan and its communities to thrive and grow. The Foundation invests in Michigan to create positive impact to its people, the planet and prosperity. For more information, visit

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