Madison Denise, chief executive officer and founder of Esined, is proof that the entrepreneurial path has no age minimum. At just 10 years old, Denise recently won grant money to support the brand vision for her tween online clothing boutique after pitching to a panel of seasoned corporate judges. The Texas Governor’s Commission for Women and a $100,000 grant from Sempra made the business pitch competition possible, awarding cash prizes to six outstanding female founders in 2021.
Each business owner had a compelling story for how they started or sustained their small business amidst the pandemic. During the pitch competition and associated business webinar series, entrepreneurs discussed starting, growing and sustaining businesses with participants from six regions of Texas — each woman bringing experience-based perspective and advice based on her individual specialties and business expertise.
The Governor’s Commission for Women, in partnership with the Beacon State Fund, is dedicated to advancing economic opportunities for Texas women and making Texas a top state for women-owned businesses. This mission inspired Sempra to be a corporate sponsor based on our core values of championing people and shaping the future. Advancing women leaders who are an integral part of the thriving economic engine in the Lone Star State is a compelling example of our energy behind Texas.
Denise was joined by other accomplished business owners in the winner’s circle, including:
Monica Nava, Owner of Chem Café, which expanded during the pandemic to sell essential items and offer free wi-fi to support remote students and employees.
Marcie Rea, Owner of Marcella’s, a luxury clothing and accessories boutique also offering fine thread craft classes through her Papillion Knittery program.
Nadia Baughman, Owner of Ann’s Restaurant, a female and minority-owned and operated restaurant which converted from dine-in to fully curbside during the pandemic to retain all employees, provide family meal options and partner with food companies to reach more customers.
Vanessa Bouche, Co-Founder and CEO of Savhera, a public benefit corporation on a mission to provide premium wellness products to consumers and dignified livelihood to human trafficking survivors.
Alicia Adams, Owner of Stump Farms, a family-curated farm with a mission to grow natural and clean food for the community.
Ellen Buck, vice president, business and operations services at Oncor, was one of the pitch competition’s corporate judges and was impressed with the tenacity and creativity displayed by these strong business owners from Texas. Sempra owns a majority stake in Oncor and both companies have a long legacy of supporting women business leaders.
“We’re proud to support the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women and their work helping women-owned businesses thrive in Texas,” said Brian Lloyd, regional vice president, external affairs of Sempra Infrastructure. “These business owners are not only impressive, but inspiring as they write new chapters in the diversity of the Texas growth story.”