Tory Burch Foundation announces first fellowship winner

Tory Burch knows a thing or two about being a successful entrepreneur — that’s why she set out last year to help another businesswoman kickstart their company.

After last year’s launch of the Tory Burch Foundation’s Fellows Competition — which is designed to give “women entrepreneurs from around the U.S. access to education, mentoring, and networking opportunities—as well as the chance to receive a grant business investment of $100,000,” — Glamour says that the Foundation finally selected their first fellowship winner:

“Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby & Co., an organic and vegan-friendly snack bar company based in Rockland, Maine, was selected from 10 finalists after all pitched their business plans to a judging panel that included Burch, Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and model and designer Liya Kebede,” reports Glamour.

McAleer started her journey after being chosen as one of 30 women selected by the Tory Burch Foundation to compete in the competition — a small pool of candidates that was narrowed from over 500 applicants. After the Foundation’s initial selection process, Glamour says that the candidates were then narrowed down to the top 10 via a public online voting process. From there, she was selected as the winner after a business plan pitch competition.

Founded in 2009, the Tory Burch Foundation was launched by Burch herself on the heels of her own success in the fashion industry as a way to guide other aspiring businesswomen by providing loan assistance, entrepreneurial education and opportunities to network with other business owners.

As for McAleer, she will use the $100,000 business investment she won to expand Bixby & Co.’s product line, says Glamour.

Congratulations to Kate McAleer and all of the competition’s finalists! Brava!

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