Hill District Grant Competitions

Urban Innovation21 Hill District Small Businesses

We aim to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and strong in the Hill District community. This list consists of businesses that won awards and participants in our annual Hill District Small Business Grant Competition.  The businesses are divided into here categories:

  • Existing businesses: these that are established and currently operating in the Hill District;

  • Start-ups: these are businesses in the start-up phase and are either located in the Hill District or being started by Hill District residents or both;

  • Business Ideas: these are business in the very early stages of their development that are either being started by residents in the Hill District or seeking to establish as business in the Hill District.

Hill District Small Business Grant Competition Awardees
Existing Business Category
Top Prize

Artistry Greenscapes Inc.
Ken Ross
Offers full service commercial and residential landscape design, installation and maintenance
services. Family-owned business based in the Hill District for over 20 years.

$5,000 Awards

Cameron Professional Services
Francine Cameron
Provides business consulting, accounting and financial services. Located in the Hill District.
LaKeisha Wolf
Manages the production and sale of safe, non-toxic personal care products for retail and wholesale markets.   Enjoyourself aims to become a cooperative and is part of the Ujamaa Collective. 

Kiva Zip Award Zero Interest Loan of up to $5,000  
A-1 Business Center
Angela Howze
Provides a variety of services that include clerical and administrative support services to Hill District community residents and small business owners. Services are designed to assist an entrepreneur from the inception phase of the business idea through the grand opening. 
Maa-t’s Righteous Sweets
Gail L. Manker
Vegan organic baking business, providing healthy baked goods to the Hill District and Greater Pittsburgh region. 
Patrix Café
Patrick Polk
New and fresh concept to dining in the Heart of the Hill District, offering breakfast and lunch in a variety of deli sandwich and wraps, fresh organic gourmet salads, pasta, homemade breads, tarts and soups made of locally grown produce. 
Right Development
Emma and Ernest Darby
Offers residential and commercial real estate with an emphasis on energy-efficiency, landmark development, and neighborhood revitalization. 
Shear Delight Beauty Salon
Tracy Carter
A professional full-service beauty salon that promotes keeping hair healthy and vibrant with a line of natural organic products that are eco-friendly. 

Start-ups Category
$5,000 Awards
Grace Security LLC
Barbara Strothers
Provides licensed professional security guard services tailored to meet unique security needs of a diverse  clientele. Services include but are not limited to: on-site uniformed security, electronic systems surveillance, access control, loss prevention, and personal safety.

Silq Concrete LLC
Margaret Burtch
Woman owned Minority Business Enterprise that offers indoor/outdoor quality cement flat
work for both commercial and residential applications. Margaret Burtch, owner, has over 27 years of experience in the concrete industry. 

Kiva Zip Award Zero Interest Loan of up to $5,000   
River City Java
Kelly Russell
A coffee shop in the Uptown section of Pittsburgh that provides a place for business and residents alike to meet, create, learn, and build a strong community. 

Business Ideas Category
$5,000 Awards

Something Borrowed Boutique LLC
Naomi Johnson
 Full service bridal salon offering a selection of formal gowns, such as, wedding gowns,
Mother of the Bride wear, bridesmaids, special occasion gowns, and flower girl dresses. Services include, gown rental, alterations, accessories, and dry-cleaning. Boutique will be
located in the Hill District.
The Pittsburgh Spot
Michelyn Hood
Provides video and Internet promotion services for small businesses in the Hill District
and surrounding communities. Aims to use these media to expose minority owned businesses to a targeted minority population and to serve community residents as a source of cultural and entertainment information. 

Kiva Zip Award Zero Interest Loan of up to $5,000 
EZDuzit Commercial Cleaning LLC
Eric Thomas Howze
Offers cleaning services specializing in office cleaning, floor treatment, carpet cleaning, and window cleaning.

HIS Stripes Coffee Gourment & Things
Gloria Bonner
Offers specialty coffees, teas, and other products that are infused with a certified organic herb called ganoderma known as the cure all herb which comes from the red Reishi mushroom. 
Legacy Café
Leeretta Payne
A mobile café-catering company catering to businesses, organizations, and political events. The café menu includes premium coffee and tea beverages, pastries and desserts that lovers of chocolate or vanilla will certainly take pleasure in eating. 
Motivation Café
Dameta Skinner
Community café located in the Hill District that offers affordable food, coffee-based products and communal entertainment. 

Crowd Funding Technical Assistance Awards valued at $1,000 each 
Mahogany Roots Media
Brook C. Titus
A smart phone and web-based application used for the delivery of radio programming specifically targeted toward the African American market. 
Dom Dom’s Boy’s Boutique
Christine Giles
A clothing store that is just for boys that will cater to an urban chic look via coordinated outfits, outerwear, shoes, and accessories, such as bow ties and hats. 
Green Remodeling and Building Network
Tamish Evonne Singletary
Provides work to expert green contractors as they train apprentices on the necessary mothballing, deconstruction, rehabbing, and rebuilding (soon-to-be) underway within their/our community by orientating the property owners in the Hill District area.

Established Businesses
A For The People Insurance Agency, Inc.
William Hawthorne
Provides all lines of insurance coverage to the tri-state area with an emphasis on teaching their clients about the benefits of insurance.  
Ann’s Market
Jesse Garrett
A neighborhood retail convenience store in the Hill District. 
B & Z Commercial Cleaning Services
Robert Sledge
Provides top cleaning services for a wide range of commercial businesses.  
Designs by Viveinne
Ardelle Viveinne Robinson
A note card business featuring original artwork on each card.  The lightly-embossed bordered cards feature original photographs from a collection of approximately 1000 prints taken in: Pittsburgh, PA, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, Ormond Beach, FL, Honolulu and Lahaina, HI, and Nairobi, Kenya.  
Gail Manker Photography
Gail Manker
A freelance photojournalist, documentary, editorial, and event photography business. 
Glam Squad Inc
Montia Robinson-Dinkins
An all inclusive event décor and linen rental service. Currently Glam Squad Inc. provides a mobile event styling service to their clients in their venue of choice.      
Image Makers Media Group, LLC
Darnell E. Clark
Service based business specializing in public relations, media marketing, advertising and image branding. 
PerspectVe LLC
Shawn Coleman
A personal development company with a mission to create materials that increase awareness and promote wise decision making. 
Rosaflora Botanicals
Tenanche Golden
Offers rose flower essences and formulas – natural plant remedies formulated from rose extracts and flowers that help to reduce negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as natural rose aromatherapy bath and body care products; classes, lectures, and workshops. 
Wright Remodeling
Eddie Wright
Small ma and pop’s convenient store serving the Hill District.

Start-up Businesses

Mission Possible Therapies
Clarice Johnson
Complimentary alternative healthcare modality with a focus on massage therapy, which covers a wide variety of therapy modalities to address the needs of the versatile population it serves.  
Tashee Johnson
Offers a complete web-based service that allows businesses to reach the mobile and internet savvy consumer. 
Walter Smith
Potential full service restaurant that will seat up to 80 people and will also offer carry-out and local deliveries. 
Women in Pusuit of Healing
Alise Grace/ Michelle Pace/ Vivian Watkins
Promotes Ami’bance soy candles that are hand pored, soot free wick, scented and aromatherapy that is gaining energy and mood enrichment.
Business Ideas

Armani Enterprises
Lee Walls
Urban food production enterprise opportunity aimed at low-moderate income entrepreneurs. Armani Enterprises produces quality specialty crops, including, lettuce, herbs, and microgreens, as well as fish for local markets. 
Fierce Star Media
Ellis Kimberly
A transmedia storytelling, publishing, and management agency that provides consulting, management, earned, owned, paid, and social media advertising, and production onstage, onscreen and online. 
Future Presidents
Sherian Seals
The goal is to develop educational games and puzzles. It will provide value to its customers through its educational products and affordable pricing. 
Jacquie’s Place
Jerry Jacquie
A coffee/deli retail shop with hopes to provide a value added service to the residents and commuters of the Centre Avenue business corridor and beyond. 
Liberation Movement
Kufere Laing
There are two components, one, is a clothing line that include T-shirts, hoodies, and hats will be produced each encouraging the affirmation of positive Black identity. The second component includes is Harambee, events that showcase multiple artistic aspects of African and/or African American culture.   
Living Well Smart Health Management
Arlene Hicks
Enables individuals to assert their independence through the use of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), and medical devices that utilize smart phone technology (mPers). 
Mi Identity Inc.
Michelle Steele
A manufacturing and design studio that will produce its own men’s urban couture clothing brands. 
RTM Entertainment & Digi-Cards North
Celecia Smith
Serves artist’s and entertainment entrepreneurs through branding, digital distribution, and monetization of digital media content. 
Willie Mammoth Millionaire Wear
Anthony Rodney Smith
A new clothing line that include females, unisex, and baby clothes.