Leslie Barrow of Southern Comfort Consulting has been named the winner of the Urban League of Louisiana’s 2019 Women-in-Business Challenge.
The competition took place as part of New Orleans Entrepreneurs week and carries a $10,000 prize.
This was the seventh year for the challenge, a business accelerator program to help emerging women-owned businesses. It provides technical assistance, education, mentorship, personal consulting, and peer learning opportunities for an intensive nine-week program. At the end of the program, four women participate in a pitch challenge.
Around 150 people attended this year’s event, where Barrow delivered her winning pitch to a panel of judges that included a diverse group of business leaders, including:
- Stephanie Devane – Executive Vice President of the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship and Business Development program
- JoAnn Lawrence – Deputy Director of the Small Business Administration’s Louisana District Office
- John Matthews – Senior Director of Small Business Services at Louisiana Economic Development
- Phala K. Mire – President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council – South
- Tammy O’Shea – CMO of Fidelity Bank
Her company, Southern Comfort Consulting Services serves as a “one-stop shop” for clients seeking property management services, including renovations, roof repair, lock work, tree services, and evictions.
Barrow plans to use the prize money to update her company’s accounting procedures and other software, as well as adding an online portal that will allow her customer’s tenants access to their building’s maintenance scheduling and completion dates.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.