Cooper added, “As my business grows, I also want to be able to at some point have a warehouse to do some type of production in the county so that I can hire a small team of people to help with that.”
“Shauna’s business plan and pitch presentation was thorough and impressive. She gave attention to every detail of her plan and during questioning from the judges, she was extremely knowledgeable and confident. There was no question she was the winner,” SCCLF Chief Lending Officer James Chatfield said.
“The most recent LEAP cohort was open to applicants across the entire state, and we received 150 applications for 15 open spots. After 10 weeks, we had 10 entrepreneurs present their business plans,” he said.
Chatfield added, “To even complete the program, especially in the current challenging environment small business owners are in, is an achievement. The fact that Shauna rose to the top of a group of entrepreneurs throughout such a competitive process is a testament to how hard she worked to grow as a business owner.”
The two other grant recipients were Nicolla Payne of Barnwell, who won $10,000, and Courtney Green of Rock Hill, who was awarded $5,000.
The SCCLF also awarded $45,000 in grants to three recipients through Feeding Innovation, its other business development program. Feeding Innovation is a 10-week course that provides technical assistance and business plan development support to entrepreneurs seeking to start or expand a healthy food business.