The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) recently gathered at The Hutton House for its annual Achieve! Awards to celebrate five outstanding members from the Minnesota chapter. 
Receiving the ‘Emerging Woman Business Owner of the Year’ was Rondo native Tameka Jones, founder and CEO of Lip Esteem, a startup cosmetic business newly located on Selby Avenue in St. Paul.  
“Our organization helps owners like Tameka build their networks to find resources for business growth,” shared NAWBO president, Mary Younggren. Since 1975, NAWBO has served over 10 million women-owned businesses across the U.S., providing networking opportunities for entrepreneurs from all types of industries. 
“In Minnesota, we are connecting with a diverse community of women business owners to grow their networks,” added Younggren. “This helps them in a myriad of ways, including the how-to’s of scaling a business, learning the risks to shield against, finding people to hire, and learning how others have scaled their businesses.” 
Jones joined NAWBO in July 2021 as one of 15 recipients of the Catalyst Fund, a program designed for women business owners to pay it forward to the next generation of female entrepreneurs. “One of the reasons Lip Esteem continues to grow is due to the wonderful connections and support from my NAWBO peers. I am so grateful,” said Jones.
Many readers of the MSR may recognize Jones from her early days selling Lip Esteem at local farmer’s markets, as well as being featured as one of six Black-owned businesses highlighted in the Emmy-nominated show “Small Business Revolution.” 
“The filming of the ‘Small Business Revolution’ will go down as one of the best things I’ve done in my life,” said Jones, “especially since it shined a light on Minnesota’s Black community. Let’s continue to build together!”
To learn more about NAWBO’s Catalyst Fund and its DEI&B work, please visit their program page at

Julie Gordon is a contributor to the Minnesota To get in touch, email
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