Grant Competition Winners

by Rachel Euretig on June 4, 2009

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our Small Business United Grant Competition this morning. Congratulations to Ioana Sherman of Chapel Hill, N.C., the grand prize winner of the $25,000 business grant! She will also receive $2,500 in Intuit products and services.

Ioana always had a passion for music. As a 10-year-old, she begged her mom for a clarinet so she could join the school band. Now, 19 years later, she plans to transform a home into a music school for children using the grant.

You can view Ioana’s video to hear her full story and also listen to her reaction when she was told her video won the grand prize (Ioana Sherman.wav).

Ioana’s story was one of the nearly 2,000 submitted for the Small Business United Grant Competition. She was among 50 finalists who each received a $5,000 grant and were invited to create videos telling their personal business stories. Judges selected the grand prize and runner-up winners based on quality, creativity and public ratings.

Four runner-up winners will each receive a $10,000 business grant, plus $2,500 in Intuit products and services to support their growing businesses. They include:

Melissa Baswell, Mountains of the Moon (Chicago): a sustainable design and apparel organization aimed at creating chic, high-quality eco-friendly clothing.

Jana Chang, Haute Fan Couture (St. Augustine, Fla.): a designer of custom created “gameday” dresses, made to order in one’s favorite sport team’s colors.

Dina DiNucci, Park Place Coffee and Crepes (Gresham, Ore.): a coffee and crepe restaurant that’s all about community.

Cathy Henry, Peter Henry, and Josh Henry, J-Dig Cards (Dallas): a greeting card manufacturer whose cards combine pop culture, sharp humor and unpredictable word plays that appeal to both sexes and all age groups.

All of the amazing stories and videos will remain up on, so be sure to check them out. Thanks again to all who participated in the competition!