“Let’s Help Her Win” TV show accepting applications for season 2 contestants

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based YouTube show connects contestants to mentors, technical assistance, and investors.

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Photo courtesy of Brianna Kilgore, owner of Created With Bri.

Kris Mathis has been an entrepreneur most of his adult life and serves as a business coach with SpringGR and several other entrepreneur support organizations. During the pandemic, Kris realized how much disparity existed for women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color.

In the article by Andre M. Perry, Manann Donoghoe, and Hannah Stephens for the Brookings Institute, the authors state that if Black business ownership continues to grow at its current rate (4.72%), it will take 256 years to reach parity with the share of Black people in the U.S. population. Similarly, the National Women’s Business Council reports that businesses owned by Black/African American women closed at higher rates than other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely because they tend to be younger, generate less revenue, were less likely to receive aid, and are concentrated in industries that were more vulnerable to the economic and workplace shocks linked with the pandemic. Despite these challenges, average revenues for these businesses increased 32.7 percent to $47,300 between 2019 and 2023 compared to all women-owned businesses’ 12.1 percent rise to $192,600.

To address these issues, Mathis dreamed up a TV program similar to the popular “Shark Tank” program where women entrepreneurs could pitch their business concepts and receive support from the show’s mentors, investors, and sponsors. Mathis’s program, “Let’s Help Her Win”, premiered on March 30, 2024. Season 1 is available for viewing on YouTube.

Season 1 of “Let’s Help Her Win” was filmed in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and was directed by Shania Lee, founder of Lilies & Sparrow Media based in Omaha, Nebraska. Mathis, executive producer of the show, said it was important to have the show’s production crew consist of women as well. Twelve contestants and ten investors were featured in Season 1. Contestants of Season 1 walked away with packages specifically designed to meet their needs that included funding, mentorships, business counseling, and technical services.

With Season 1 being a huge success, Season 2 is now casting contestants. Women entrepreneurs interested in becoming a contestant on Season 2 of “Let’s Help Her Win” should visit www.LetsHelpHerWin.com to submit an application using the online form. Interviews are currently being scheduled.

When asked about what type of person should apply to become a contestant on Season 2, Mathis said, “We are looking for people who believe they have the next best thing and are ready to take it to the next level.” Lee added, “The show is about helping women invest in themselves. We provide the mentors that can help them grow, and then we watch their progress.”

Season 2 will begin filming in October 2024. Selected contestants will need to commit 1-2 days in Grand Rapids, MI, during the time of filming.

Sponsors of Season 1 of the “Let’s Help Her Win” show included GROW, SpringGR, Studio Cor3, Arbor Circle, Consumers Credit Union, and Celebration Cinema, who provided the theater for the show’s premiere. GROW, a community development financial institution (CDFI), provided business loans of up to $50,000 for participants. SpringGR offered admission to their Next Level program. Studio Cor3 provided contestants with photoshoots and creative services. Arbor Circle is a non-profit that specializes in mental health services, and they were on set every day to support the entrepreneurs. Consumers Credit Union helped contestants establish their business bank accounts. New sponsors have joined for Season 2 and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, visit letshelpherwin.com/sponsorship.

To read more about “Let’s Help Her Win” visit these links:

In addition to serving as executive producer of “Let’s Help Her Win,” Mathis also served as keynote speaker at the April 2024 Michigan State University Product Center’s Making It In Michigan Conference where he encouraged entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and persevere through the challenging times. Entrepreneurs can learn more from Mathis by reading his book titled “From Success to Significance: The Eight Keys to Achieving Any Goal or Dream.”

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center assist entrepreneurs and businesses in developing products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please visit our website.

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