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Presenting the 2023 Small Biz Challenge Winner

LaDonna Welch, Founder of Ebony Notes

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Small Biz Challenge

Winner of The UPS Store 2023 Small Biz Challenge!

Congratulations to LaDonna Welch, Founder of Ebony Notes, Winner of The UPS Store 2023 Small Biz Challenge!  

This year’s The UPS Store Small Biz Challenge proved to be exciting, with talented small business owners demonstrating their problem-solving skills, innovative thinking and how they truly are unstoppable. The competition attracted thousands of entries, which were then narrowed down to nine semi-finalists, and from that talented group of entrepreneurs, three finalists who competed at One World Observatory, the top of One World Trade, in New York City. LaDonna Welch, founder of Ebony Notes, the mobile app, was awarded the grand prize of $25,000, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Inc. Magazine. Congratulations, LaDonna! 

Watch the final challenge event here: 

LaDonna’s entrepreneurial ambitions were inspired by her mission to uplift the Black community and their mental health. She saw a need for accessible and inclusive resources, and as a result, her mobile app, Ebony Notes, was born. LaDonna believes that positive affirmations provide a dose of motivation and encouragement, helping individuals overcome barriers and unlock their full potential. Through the course of the competition, LaDonna was mentored by Julissa Prado, founder and CEO of Rizos Curls, who provided invaluable guidance and expertise as LaDonna took on different challenges to become a finalist, and ultimately, the 2023 winner. 

LaDonna and her fellow finalists, Randy Bezdek of The Hungry Robot and Rachel Garcia of Dry Goods Refillery, were surrounded by other accomplished professionals. Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medalist and now sports commentator, entrepreneur and small business owner inspired the contestants and audience as the event host. Chris Do, CEO and Founder of Futur, and Jasmine Star, Founder & CEO of Social Curator, expertly guided their finalist mentees, while Scott Omelianuk, Inc. Editor in Chief, and Kimberly McGlonn, owner of Grant BLVD and 2021 Small Biz Challenge winner, served as esteemed judges during the competition. 

Thank you to all the small business owners who entered and competed in this year’s Small Biz Challenge. Watch the final Small Biz Challenge event here and follow our Instagram to catch highlights and other small business advice and inspiration from the competition.  

2023 Small Biz Challenge Winner, LaDonna Welch