53 Voices Challenge
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Can you share your business idea using only your voice in 53 seconds?

We’re challenging Michigan women to record their best business idea for a chance to win cash prizes. All you need is a recording device (a phone works well!), 53 seconds, and a great idea!

Read through the challenge rules below to prepare your application and submit!

About the Challenge:


  • The top 53 ideas will receive $200
  • The top 10 ideas will receive an additional $750
  • The final prizes (as decided by votes) are $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500!


  • Business is or will be located in Michigan (you do not have to be a current business owner to enter the competition)
  • Business must be at least 51% woman-owned

How the contest will work:

Round one: Record your idea & submit a concept paper

Record your business idea in 53 seconds using your phone or another recording device and prepare a one-page concept paper outlining your business idea. Our application will accept .wav, mp3, and .mp4 formats for your recording. You will need to download a third party recording app on your phone.

How to record on your phone:
In order to record in the proper format, you will need to download an app to record your idea. Do not use the “Voice Memos” app on your phone. We recommend the following free apps:

Tips for your 53 second recording:
You only have 53 seconds, so make it count! We recommend that you speak from the heart about your business idea. We want to hear about your product/ service, why it’s needed, and why you think it’s deserving of funding.

What’s required in your 1-page concept paper:
The application will ask you to answer the following in 500 words:

  1. Contact information (name, address, email, and phone number)
  2. Describe the product or service you will offer and the market that you serve. Identify your customers and how you are addressing an unmet need.
  3. Describe the advantages or unique qualities of your product and service. Identify the specific market segment(s) addressed by your business and its approximate size.
  4. Describe the current management team and include a brief description of the team’s relevant experience.
  5. Explain how your business currently generates or will generate revenue, and explain any future sources of funding.
  6. Describe any key partnerships that your business requires to operate (examples: vendors, suppliers, distribution partners)

Round two: Top 53 ideas will attend three workshops & win cash prizes

The top 53 ideas will be selected to win $200 and invited to participate in 3 mandatory workshops. Attendance in these workshops is required to win the $200 prize and move on to the next round.

About the three mandatory workshops:
PITCHING: September 14 from 9:00- 11:00 am
ACCOUNTING: September 16 from 9:00-10:30am
MARKETING: September 21 from 9:00- 10:30am

Round three: Top 10 ideas will create a 53 second video and win more cash

Out of the top 53, 10 finalists will be asked to create a 53 second video pitching their business idea. These 10 finalists will all receive an additional $750.

Note: The Top 10 Finalists will have a mandatory virtual meeting on September 22 from 9:00-10:00am.

Round four: Community Vote on social media

The community will vote for their favorite idea on social media over a two week period. The 3 ideas with the most votes will receive the grand prizes!

Still have questions?

For questions on content of your application and video, contact microloan@miwf.org
For any technical questions, contact Elly Drain edrain@miwf.org