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  • Alissa Fisher

Three Businesses Awarded Startup Scholarship



The Minority Business Empowerment Team awards three new businesses with the

MBET Startup Scholarship


Three applicants have been awarded the Minority Business Empowerment Team Startup Scholarship, a $625 grant opportunity for new minority-owned businesses. Courtney Wendzicki of Confetti Worthy Media, Stephanie Gill of Mae Aesthetics, and Jim Ervin and Dick Ries of Firelands Adventure Tours received the scholarship and were celebrated Friday evening at Noble Crafts in downtown Sandusky.


The MBET Startup Scholarship, introduced in the fall of 2021, will be awarded to 35 new businesses. Eligible applicants include people of color, women, veterans, or members of the LGBTQ+ community who are starting a business in Erie or Huron County. The scholarship was made possible by the Mylander Foundation and For Love. With Love Charity. The opportunity is competitive and merit based as each applicant will have to compose a brief business and financial plan. For more information about the scholarship, visit https://bit.ly/MBETSS2


Confetti Worthy Media was founded by Courtney Wendzicki in December 2021. The company was born from Courtney’s passion for social media and podcasting. The company aims to equip women with digital resources to market their business or brand. CWM’s first digital product is a 4-week digital course on content creation and strategy for the Instagram platform. The mission of Confetti Worthy Media to help businesswomen build lives and businesses worth celebrating. Courtney is also the host of The EntrepreneuHER podcast, which highlights the stories of female entrepreneurs.


Mae Aesthetics recently opened its doors in Huron, OH. The owner, Stephanie Gill, specializes in lash services, brow tinting and shaping, and skincare. She has just under 11 years of experience in the industry and has been performing lash services specifically for 6 years. Mae Aesthetics currently offers brow treatments like shaping and tinting and lash services like lifting, tinting and extensions. The company just introduced skincare services including derma plane, customer facials and oxygen treatments.


Firelands Adventure Tours is a sightseeing bus tour agency born from the successful downtown business, Sandusky Segwave. Owners, Jim Ervin and Dick Ries operated Sandusky Segwave for about five years before making the pivot. Firelands Adventure Tours will be accessible for many and have a far reach across the region. The company will debut with a Sandusky Underground Railroad tour this summer.


If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, contact RISE Coordinator, Alissa Fisher via email rise@eriecountyedc.org or by phone (419)366-0286.


The Minority Business Empowerment Team (MBET)

MBET is a grassroots collaborative effort between local minority-owned businesses, economic development organizations – Erie County Economic Development Corporation & RISE, the City of Sandusky and its Commissioners, and Sandusky City Schools. MBET’s mission is to champion minority business development through collective and intentional entrepreneur support that improves the economic, social, and personal standing for all minority entrepreneurs in the Greater Sandusky Area. Since forming in 2020, the group has used networking events and social media to build community and increase visibility of hundreds of local minority entrepreneurs and has delivered business and financial assistance to dozens of minority-owned businesses.