Niles business owner honored at Michigan Women Forward’s 53 Voices event
Published 11:04 am Thursday, October 20, 2022
DETROIT — A Niles resident was recognized for her business endeavors.
Aiyenede Akhigbe of Niles, recently won third place in Michigan Women Forward’s 53 Voices challenge sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.
The nonprofit hosted the top ten entrepreneurs at the Crains Communications building in Detroit on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to honor their accomplishments and declare this year’s 53 Voices Challenge winners:
- First Place: Lisa Schilthuis and Alyssa Zehr of GrandMinds – online shop that creates failure-free products to help people with dementia improve their quality of life by engaging in purposeful and enjoyable activities at their ability level.
- Second Place: Christy Howden of Wolverine Pickleball – the premier place to play pickleball in Ann Arbor.
- Third Place: Aiyenede Akhigbe of Sticky Spoons Jam – veteran-owned business specializing in using locally sourced fruits to create uniquely versatile jams.
“We are overjoyed to announce the winners of the 53 Voices challenge,” said Alexis Dishman, chief lending officer at Michigan Women Forward. “After sharing their business ideas, these women went on to complete three Michigan Women Forward entrepreneur education training workshops. Their hard work and dedication has taken them far – now we’re excited to see how they use their winnings to advance their business initiatives.”
Lisa Schilthuis and Alyssa Zehr of GrandMinds won $7,500 for first place; Christy Howden of Wolverine Pickleball won $5,000 for second place; and Aiyenede Akhigbe of Sticky Spoons Jam won $2,500 for third place.
“The 53 Voices challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for female entrepreneurs,” said Tawnya Rose, vice president and community and economic development manager at Fifth Third Bank. “Our team is excited to watch these three women’s dreams be put into action with the winnings they have received from the competition.”
For more information about the 53 Voices challenge, visit miwf.org/53-voices-finalists.