The L.E.A.N. Fund – Fueling Female Ambition

Fueling
Female
Ambition

We believe ambition is a right, not a privilege.

And that every woman deserves the chance to transform her life and make an impact on the lives of those around her. Lean Cuisine created the L.E.A.N. Fund to help women thrive as entrepreneurs by providing financial support and mentorship to the women who need it most.

Big dreams start
with your own community.

Changes that spread across the world start on a local level. That’s why we’re launching our program in Cleveland, and why we’re working in partnership with the Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI), an organization with a rich history of educating and mentoring female entrepreneurs in our local community.

How the
L.E.A.N. Fund
helps

Lend

We fund women’s ambition because we know that financial wellness fuels a healthier life.

Empower

We teach skills female entrepreneurs can use to start businesses and keep them running successfully.

Achieve

We surround women with a network of peers and provide one-on-one coaching to help them bring their businesses to life.

Nourish

We help women make an impact by bringing jobs, services and products into their communities.

Meet the L.E.A.N. Fund recipients

Recipient

Latasha Farmer

She witnessed firsthand the power of helping to restore someone's confidence.

Hair loss can be devastating, especially when it happens to you or someone you love. When Latasha Farmer’s grandmother was suffering from cancer and lost her hair, Latasha felt compelled to do something to help. Luckily, as a trained hair stylist with a degree in cosmetology, Latasha had the skills to act. She handmade a wig for her grandmother at home, and after Latasha witnessed firsthand the power of helping to restore someone's confidence, she knew she was onto something big.

iSalon Plus is a hair replacement service that specializes in hair loss for medical reasons. Since many people who have experienced hair loss feel uncomfortable in a more traditional salon setting, Latasha provides private and confidential service as a vital component of iSalon’s offering.

Latasha is going to use the loan from the L.E.A.N. Fund to get accredited as a medical services provider, which will make iSalon's already affordable hair replacement procedure accessible to even more people that need help.

Recipient

Mariela Paz

Sabor Miami was a dream that Mariela made a reality with grit, determination and very few resources at her disposal.

From the eclectic Latin cuisine to the decadent coffee drinks and vibrant art, Sabor Miami Café is a direct reflection of Mariela Paz’s life. Mariela grew up in Honduras, where her family ran a coffee plantation, but lived in Miami for over a decade. Mariela is an artist herself, which is why the restaurant also serves as a gallery, and Mariela’s hand-painted decor makes you feel like you’ve been whisked through a magic portal into a tropical oasis.

There’s local buzz building about Sabor Miami, and for good reason. Mariela’s food is out of this world, and Mariela and her mother make everyone who steps into the restaurant feel like family. However, Sabor Miami was a dream that Mariela made a reality with grit, determination and very few resources at her disposal. Right now, the restaurant has to close for parts of the year because it lacks proper heating and air conditioning.

Mariela is going to use the L.E.A.N. Fund loan to purchase a portable heating and air conditioning unit. It may soon feel less like hot-and-sticky Miami in her restaurant, but it will certainly be more comfortable for customers, and will mean more revenue for Mariela. And more revenue means that Mariela can keep expanding on her ambitious dream of bringing a little piece of Miami to the Midwest.

Recipient

Olympia Robinson

She wants to help everyone see the world clearly.

Olympia Robinson wants to help everyone see the world clearly. To do that, she is taking her business, iSpecz Eyewear, mobile.

She is no stranger to glasses. She started wearing her own pair at the age of four. Her first job at age 15 was working for an ophthalmologist. Later, she went to school for optometry and then worked for a big-box eyewear company, but she disliked how they rushed her through appointments, prioritizing efficiency over thoughtful service. When that large company went out of business, and after some encouragement from her husband, Olympia decided to place a bet on herself. That’s how iSpecz Eyewear was born.

Olympia is going to use the loan from the L.E.A.N. Fund in order to buy a van and mobile vision testing equipment, so she can improve the lives of senior citizens, college students, and others who may struggle to travel to traditional eye appointments.

Her passion is improving her client’s lives. “When someone puts their glasses on for the first time and sees the world in focus, the smile that spreads across their face is what makes me do what I do."

Recipient

Regina Sibert

It’s never too late. Don’t give up on your dreams, ever.”

“Everyone deserves a second chance.” For Regina Seibert, founder of Soapy Suds with Sparkle, the idea of a second chance is core to her cleaning business.

For Regina, cleaning became a passion at an early age. When her mother started her own cleaning business, Regina and her 11 siblings became her workforce. Now, with Soapy Suds with Sparkle, Regina gets to not only realize her dream of being an entrepreneur, but she has created her eco-friendly commercial cleaning business as a vehicle to give women with felony incarcerations a second chance.

“It’s never too late. Fight for yourself. Don’t give up on your dreams, ever.” Regina’s reflections on her own life prove that she has more to offer to other women than a job. She’s a role model for how to begin transforming your life.

The bigger the impact women have the better the world becomes

Interested
in applying for the
L.E.A.N. Fund?

Check back in November 2018, when we’ll be accepting the next round of applications from female entrepreneurs in Cleveland.

Join the list