During his second year at the FWCS Career Academy, Terrence (18) was inspired to create his own graphic design business, offering design work including logos, advertisements, and other marketing pieces. His vision is to help other organizations tell their stories with original designs, marketing pieces, and tshirts. With the micro-grant, Terrence can expand his business, invest in equipment, and expand how he offers his services and products.
Lauren started her business New Heights Fitness to help people become healthier versions of themselves by creating a positive relationship with exercise. She wants to create an environment that motivates her clients to exercise in a way that works for them, no matter where they are on a fitness level. With a micro-grant, Lauren can meet in a semi-private space with clients, making fitness attainable and accessible for everyone.
The Fort 806 podcast is a show created to help listeners rediscover the diverse city of Fort Wayne, highlighting local events and activities around the city. Sonya (33) started the show over a year ago, and hopes the show will help people see their community and their neighbors as beautiful and diverse. With the micro-grant, Sonya can help fund giveaways on her show, which will help fund events and activities within Fort Wayne.
As someone who loves to learn, invent, and build, Matt (24) recognized that Fort Wayne needed a well-equipped and staffed research lab for people like to him to bring their ideas and concepts to life. Whether it’s electrical, engineering, or technological, the research lab would give students and companies a place to work on projects. Through the Fortitude Fund, Matt can purchase equipment, advertise the program, attract clients, and maybe even begin the first research project.
As an arts entrepreneur, Kurt (26) created SoundWalk–a mobile app that gives listeners an immersive audio experience as they walk through public spaces. Artists compose music or narratives that are geotagged on a map within the app, allowing the listener to experience unique art of various kinds produced for wherever they are. Using the micro-grant, Kurt will be able to fund at least one fictional narrative production, geotagged locally in Fort Wayne.
Stephanie (35) has established a re-employment agency for people who struggle to find a job because of their criminal background or disability. Her agency offers training for individuals to equip them for any workplace, helps them create a working resume, and assists them in finding the right kind of work that fits their skills and personality. With a micro-grant, Stephanie can invest in office equipment and software and fund her rental space.
Megan (30) has created an online natural skin care boutique called Rajean Beauty, specializing in scented shea butters, body oils, and natural sugar and salt scrubs that cater to women of color. Although the products are for pampering, the mission behind the company is to promote the freedom, wellness, and empowerment of women of color by partnering with businesses and organizations with the same focus. With a micro-grant, Megan can invest in web design, licensing, and materials for production.
Inspired by their personal experience and their children, Marna and Susan created innovative weighted products to help anyone and everyone ages two and up cope with an array of issues, from medical to psychological. Their trademarked weighted wearables are designed to help anyone with any type of lifestyle. With the micro-grant, Marna and Susan can market their products more effectively, increasing their sales and exposure.
For the past year and a half, Raul (32) has been working to build his inspirational clothing brand called Change Your Fate. With a background in graphic design, Raul creates designs for his tshirts that share a simple message: take a risk, do your best work, and change your fate. A micro-grant through Fortitude will enable this new company to invest in social media marketing that will grow their exposure and increase sales.