Asheville’s Adoratherapy Wins
The 2017 SBA InnovateHer Challenge

Jill Sparks, SBC; Tonya Snider, CSBDF; Kimberly Hunter, Mtn Bizworks; Laura McCann, Co-owner Adoratherapy; Sharon Oxendine, WWBC Director; Rosanna Mulcahy, WWBC Assoc. Director PHOTO BY: HOLA CAROLINA

On May 9th, eight local women-owned businesses gathered at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce to compete in the InnovateHER challenge, a nationwide business competition to drive attention to innovative products and services that make women’s lives easier. The challenge presents an exciting opportunity for some of the nation’s foremost entrepreneurs and innovators to gain attention on a national level. The Western Women’s Business Center, in partnership with Mountain BizWorks and the A-B Tech Small Business Center host the challenge every year.

Selected from eleven local applicants, each company pitched their business plan to a panel of judges. After a full day of presentations, the judges deliberated behind closed doors. At the days end, the presenters gathered back for the final award ceremony.

First prize was awarded to ADORAtherapy, who will now advance to the semi-final round. From the pool of semi-finalists, SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the challenge to be held in Washington, DC. The finalists will compete for the top three awards and $70,000 in prizes.

Adoratherapy, a manufacturer of organic aromatherapy products, is co-founded by Laura McCann and Adora Winquist. “Our mission is to support women in defining and controlling their moods and building healthy habits. We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist and are grateful for the opportunity to share our Mood Boosts with women everywhere,” said Laura.

About the Western Women’s Business Center (WWBC)
The mission of the WWBC is to provide capital, high-quality assistance, and programs that reduce barriers and serve as a catalyst to the success of women entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina. In addition to a monthly networking workshop series, the WWBC also offers business plan development, one-on-one business development counseling, and certification assistance for federal programs and referral support for business services. The WWBC is a program of Carolina Small Business Development Fund. For more information about WWBC, please contact Jasmine Hanks at or (828) 633-5065.

About A-B Tech
One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its five academic divisions: Allied Health and Public Service Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality Education, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for workforce partnerships, specific job training, and retraining, as well as personal enrichment classes. A-B Tech enrolls more than 25,000 curriculum and continuing education students in programs at its Asheville, Enka, Madison, South, Woodfin and Goodwill locations.

About Mountain BizWorks
Mountain BizWorks helps smaller businesses grow, and larger businesses thrive by providing lending, consulting and training services. MBW provides a continuum of services to help businesses in Western North Carolina grow from pre-launch ideas to durable businesses that create permanent, family-wage jobs. MBW is a non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) and was founded in 1989. For more information about Mountain BizWorks, please visit their website at



Written by WNC Woman