Invest in She event helps women entrepreneurs in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Invest in She event helps women entrepreneurs in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Helping women's business dreams come true -- that's the goal of the Invest in She event in Cedar Rapids.

The event has different women competing for money and resources to help grow their business.

It all came about following a recent American Express study that found Iowa ranks last in nation for female-owned businesses. The people involved in this event are hoping to change that.

Laurie Moritz was training for a marathon and realized she still wanted sweets.

"I was looking for a way to still have my treats, but in a healthier way," said Moritz.

That inspired her to launch her own company, Sweet Raw Joy, which sells raw pies and cheesecakes that are packed with nutrients. You can find them in select stores.

"Because these desserts aren't heated, all of that good stuff is still alive in the food," said Moritz.

Moritz's company is one of six finalists for Invest in She, where business owners pitch their concepts to potential investors. It's more than financial help. It's connections and exposure.

Nikki Hynek is another one of the finalists, founder of Dollup Beauty.

"I wanted to put on some lip gloss at a stoplight and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm digging through my handbag,'" Hynek said. "There has to be a better way to organize your makeup."

She created the Dollup Case, which has a specific spot for all your makeup. Sales started online last month, and her goal is to get into stores.

"Just work with major retailers to get the Dollup Case onto those shelves and into the hands of women," said Hynek.

Each finalist has a different goal, but each is hoping to expand her business.

Eight investors are bringing $5,000 to the event. They'll also provide feedback and can serve as resources for the women in the future.

The event is put on by the Iowa Women's Leadership Conference and Ascent, a not-for-profit that helps women businesses.

Related links:

http://www.iwlcleads.org/Minisite/2014-Fall-Fundraiser

http://sweetrawjoy.com/

http://dollupbeauty.com/

http://www.iwlcleads.org/

http://www.ascentiowa.org/index.html
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