What’s the story: Before becoming a mom, Ebony Beckford thought long and hard about the responsibility and legacy she wanted to build for her daughter's future. Losing her own mother to cancer while in college, Ebony struggled with finances, leading to poor money management habits.
“When my mom died, I had -$200 in my bank account,” Ebony said. “I remember that balance because I had just opened a student checking account and used the overdraft protection money to buy Christmas gifts.”
Today, she’s building a different future for her daughter and other kids who look like her.
She wrote and published a children's book about money, Madison's 1st Dollar, to help other kids in similar situations. After a host of positive reviews from friends and family members, she decided to launch a business called Fin Lit Kids – a multimedia company that helps parents teach basic money management concepts to their kids in a fun and engaging way.
As Ebony continues to expand her business, she's focused on creating a great experience for her customers. “Using UPS to ship my products has saved me a lot of time and money,” she said. “The combination of fast shipping and cost savings has made UPS a go-to service for me.”
Resources to grow: In addition to working with UPS, Ebony has been able to take advantage of the UPS Ignite program – giving her access to resources to help grow her small business. Through the program’s partnership with The Lonely Entrepreneur, she has access to a learning community and experts who can help her with answers to business challenges.
“As a solopreneur with a full-time job and a young child, I don't have a lot of time,” she said. “Having access to the Lonely Entrepreneur reduces the amount of time it would normally take me to find information related to running my business.”
And the winner is …: Ebony was recently one out of ten recipients awarded a $10,000 grant funded by UPS Ignite. The funds are intended to be spent on growth, empowering these companies to add capacity to fulfill larger orders, order new tech or equipment, new product development, as well as on marketing and advertising.
“My biggest obstacle to date has been marketing and advertising,” said Ebony. “The grant means I can hire a social media manager, pay for advertisements on social media, and influencer marketing.
Building a better world: The grants are part of a $1.25 million investment from UPS and The UPS Foundation for UPS Ignite to reach more than 250 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) over the next three years.