Applications for the 2021 Lillie Knox Investment Awards are open until July 19th! Click here for the application.

Each year the Women’s Business Council – Southwest gives away cash awards of up to $20,000 via the Lillie Knox Investment Awards to support the business growth of WBEs within our region. The awards are available exclusively to WBCS members – any current member in good standing is eligible to apply, regardless of company size or revenue! The application consists of two questions:

  1. How has WBE certification benefited your business? Please provide examples of how WBCS opportunities and resources are utilized by your company (i.e. sponsorship, event participation, committee participation, etc.).
  2. Briefly describe your: a) Business need b) How funding would support the development of your business and c) Total cost requested. Please also provide d) Itemized budget of your funding request.

The winners are decided by a selection committee of WBCS past board chairs, the current board chair, and the WBCS President. Read below for some tips on how to make sure your application is complete and stands out this year:

  1. Provide context for your request clearly and concisely.  Assume the reader isn't aware of what's going on in your business or marketplace. However, sometimes less is more. Show that your idea is well thought out without being overly wordy or using complicated industry jargon. Do be sure to provide all required information – including the amount of funding requested and breakout of how the funds will be used. 
  2. Ask for a defined amount of money.  The Lillie Knox Investment Awards were created with the purpose of funding specific needs to further business growth. Last year we gave out awards ranging from $2,500 to $15,000. Ask for the amount needed for your request, give specifics on the reason for that amount, and justify how it will be used. If the award will not cover the entire cost, explain where the remainder of the funding will come from. *note - in general, the awards are given for one-time expenses, and not for costs related to on-going expenses such as salaries, rent, or education costs.
  3. Tell us how certification has helped you.  For the first question, we want to hear how your certification and involvement with WBCS benefits your business – regardless if you’ve been certified 6 months or 6 years.  How do you plan to get more involved, or how will you use your certification in the upcoming year?
  4. Show off your collaboration.  WBCS is all about supporting women-owned businesses! Will you be working with a fellow member? Hiring another WBE as a result of the award? Will the result of your growth have a positive impact on women in your community?  
  5. Proofread, proofread, proofread.  Check it yourself, then step away and have a friend or coworker read it too. Correct grammar and spelling help make the best first impression.   

Good luck to all 2021 applicants!