Microenterprise Boost Award Program

Please note: The Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program has ended. Information provided below describes the program as it operated prior to 2009, when it was ended by the Citigroup Foundation and Women and Company.


The Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program offers low- and moderate-income women microentrepreneurs who have participated with REAP the opportunity to achieve greater business success by providing cash awards that will have measurable impact on the development of their businesses. Started in 2005, the program is funded by the Citigroup Foundation and is administered by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).

The awards may be used for essential business development activities such as marketing, technology purchases, website development, inventory, or professional services. Recipients will also receive technical training, business development guidance, and assistance from REAP staff on growing their businesses and maximizing their equity awards.

“Thanks to the Citigroup Foundation and Women and Company, this innovative initiative makes it possible to provide awardees with both cash and skills, two critical elements for business growth and success,” says Monica Braun, REAP Women's Business Center Director.

REAP won a National Award of Excellence for its work in the Women & Company Microenterprise Boost Program. This was the top award made to local program partners across the nation in 2005.


2009 Boost Awards
The number of awards was decreased in 2009, but the award amounts were substantially increased - one award for $5,000 and two awards for $3,000. Using $11,000 in funds provided by the Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program, three REAP clients were selected to receive equity awards for 2009:

  • Leala Jimerson, Smarter Treats, LLC, Chadron NE
  • Elaine Mullin, Elaine's Hair Studio, Pawnee City NE
  • Connie Harvey, Efficiency Counts, Hastings NE
  • 2008 Boost Awards
    Using $11,000 in funds provided by the Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program, six women microentrepreneurs across rural Nebraska received financial support for their enterprises. New this year, we were able to award $1000 to a former Women and Company awardee. REAP clients selected to receive equity awards in 2008 include:

    • Debra Simmons, S&S Sweeper Store, Beatrice NE
    • Maria Alvarado, Alvarado’s Tax Services, Columbus NE
    • Dianne Marie, Midwest Quilting and Embroidery, Ord NE
    • Kerri Chamberlin, Longhorn Restaurant, Kimball NE
    • Glenna Zwiebel, Z Total Image, Morrill NE
    • Past Award Winner Becky Wyatt, Becky’s Health Hut, Sidney, NE

    2007 Boost Awards
    Using $10,000 in funds provided by the Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program, six women microentrepreneurs across rural Nebraska received financial support for their enterprises. The following women business owners were selected to receive the equity awards for 2007:

    • Christina Wertenberger, Wertenberger Custom Milling, Falls City, Nebraska
    • Karen Runkle, Lil’ Ladybug Greenhouse and Gardens, Hay Springs, Nebraska
    • Becky Wyatt, Becky’s Health Hut, Sidney, Nebraska
    • Lesley Connot, Awaken Salon, Ainsworth, Nebraska
    • Lynn Welch and Cedonnia Hyke, The Pool Hall, Eustis, Nebraska

    2006 Boost Awards
    Fourteen women micro entrepreneurs across rural Nebraska received a cash equity award. REAP was one of 15 Local Partners with the national Women and Company® Microenterprise Boost Program. REAP clients receiving equity awards in 2006 include:

    • Marilyn Capps, MC Tax Prep, Falls City, Nebraska
    • Carol Douty, Garden Lane, Milford, Nebraska
    • Darla Grace, Your Country Neighbor, Peru, Nebraska
    • Sandra Gutierrez, Bilingual Consulting Services, South Sioux City, Nebraska
    • Pat Setlik and Connie McFadden, Cottonwood Lane, Loup City, Nebraska
    • Rhonda Dowling, RT Fudge, Burwell, Nebraska
    • Martha Martinez, Esperanzo’s Creations, South Sioux City, Nebraska
    • Carla Mayo, Cedar Creek Steakhouse, Humboldt, Nebraska
    • Harriet McFeely, Country Meadows, Hastings, Nebraska
    • Lisa Johnson, Lisa Johnson Photography, Oakland, Nebraska
    • Angela Rathe, By Design & Upholstery, McCook, Nebraska
    • Katrina Schroder, Kats Kritters, Ainsworth, Nebraska
    • Ronda Sherman, Sherman & Beel Photo LLC, Johnstown, Nebraska
    • Denice Swanson, The Drawer, Holdrege, Nebraska

    2005 Boost Awards
    REAP provided $1,000 cash equity awards to nine women micro entrepreneurs in Nebraska to help them grow and develop their businesses. REAP was one of only eight Local Partners chosen throughout the country to participate in the program. REAP clients receiving $1000 awards include:

    • Diane Goodier, Halsey Stockade Inn, Halsey, Nebraska
    • Linda Goodman, Lynn’s Upholstery, Naper, Nebraska
    • Pat Coldiron, Liberty House B & B, Antiques and Gifts, Seward, Nebraska
    • Missy Hillmer, Hillmer Photography, Central City, Nebraska
    • Ann Yates, Honey Creek Vineyards & Bakery, Peru, Nebraska
    • Keri York, Therapeutic Dimensions, Fairbury, Nebraska
    • Linda Tynon, IADA (International Assoc. of Destination Agents), Peru, Nebraska
    • Jan McNichols, The Emerald Spa, O’Neill, Nebraska
    • Rose Templeton, Body Wise Health /Nutrition, Roca, Nebraska

    REAP is proud to participate in this unique program. Funding for the Women and Company Microenterprise Boost Program is provided by the Citigroup Foundation. Women and Company, a division of Citigroup, provides access to financial education and resources for women, and is working with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to implement and promote the program.

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