July 19, 2021
YWCA Central Alabama Participant Comedienne Joy represents Alabama in July 21 YWomen Start It Up Pitch Competition!
BIRMINGHAM, AL – (July 19, 2021) – Comedienne Joy (Cassandra King) will represent Alabama as the state’s only small businesswoman to vie for $25,000 in the Wednesday, July 21 YWomen Start It Up Pitch Competition.
Register to tune in and cheer on the owner of Eat. Drink. Ride Food Tours, one of six entrepreneurs chosen across the national YWCA association network. Learn about these businesses as they present to a panel of judges from 2-4 p.m. (CDT) on Zoom.
King plans to bring her A-game to the competition – the latest fruit harvested from her new labor of love, "applying for everything!"
“I would tell any woman entrepreneur to hop on any opportunity that will help your business. If you say, ‘I won’t win anyway’ and don’t apply, then you’ve already lost,” King said.
King has “two massive buses” and staffers she has to fund in her work to entertain while introducing the masses to local cuisine. Having those buses parked for four months during the pandemic made things difficult financially. That’s why she sees YWCA Central Alabama’s economic empowerment services as a godsend.
King was chosen as part of the first cohort of local entrepreneurs to work on growing their business and brand through YWCA Central Alabama’s WE360 program – a partnership effort of YWCA USA and Ureeka that launched locally in March.
"I absolutely loved my YWCA WE360 Ureeka mentor,” King said. “I had my first one-on-one coaching, and finally I've found someone that I believe can take me to the next level. For years, I've been asking for programs to support existing business owners like me. Now I have just what I've been missing."
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started, King feels doors are starting to open for minorities and women in business.
“When I tell you this pitch competition is everything to me, I mean it is everything,” she quipped. “For so long, Black women, Black people in business have been an afterthought. We didn’t have access to capital. Banks weren’t likely to loan us $5,000, let alone $20,000 to start a business.”
King said she has much love for YWCA Central Alabama and what it is doing to level the playing field for women and minorities in business.
“The YW is in my blood,” King said. “I plan on not only making (YWCA Central Alabama) proud, but as the state’s only business represented in the pitch competition, I plan to make Alabama proud, too.”
The finalists for the public and virtual YWomen Start It Up Pitch Competition are:
- Cassandra King, Eat. Drink. Ride Food Tours
- Rhona Vega, ParentMatterz
- Shanequa Gray, PrettyGirlFitness
- Lisa Freeman-Williamson, WTF? Weigh The Facts
- Dianne Thomas, Ankhacia Enterprises, LLC
- Shelisa McNeal-Burgess, Fria, LLC
To learn more about the YWCA WE360 program, contact Angela Abdur-Rasheed at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-322-9922 ext. 206.
YWCA Central Alabama is a social justice and United Way organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. To learn more, visit www.ywcabham.org.