Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva

Chase Bank’s Mission Main Street Grants – Building Voices

Building Voices is participating in the Mission Main Street Grant program in order to receive $100,000.  We need 250 votes by June 19, 2015 in order to be considered for the grant.  In order to qualify, we had to answer a questionnaire.  See questions and answers below.

1. Tell us about your business and what makes it unique. Please provide a general description of your product, customers, competitive landscape, and overall performance.

Building Voices ® is an independent publishing company that specializes in Children’s Fiction and related resources for home and school. In addition, we offer critiquing services and writing mentorships for aspiring writers. We publish chapter books, interactive journals, coloring books, activity books, and more. Building Voices is unique because of the message that we are sending to parents, teachers, librarians, and educational officials that the voice of children matter. Our goal is to educate one mind and build one voice at a time. We believe our books will entertain, inspire, and build the future voices of this world.

2. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? Describe both your greatest achievements and biggest challenges.

Being a teacher has allowed me to see first-hand what is missing at home and in the school system. I wanted to write books that encourage kids to be leaders and to devote more of their time to reading. I believe my humorous, inspiring, and educational book series will encourage kids to incorporate reading into their daily routine. Aside from having my daughter, one of my greatest achievements was writing my first book, Broccoli Chronicles. It won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award in Children’s Fiction and has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 ‪INDIEFAB‬ Book of the Year Award for Juvenile Fiction! My biggest challenge is finding a balance with my family, my work, and God.

3. How is your business involved with the community you serve? Examples include: giving back to the community, sourcing locally, and/or contributing to economic development via hiring.

I am very active in my community. Through Building Voices and my non-profit organization, TCD Kids Foundation, I provide free writing tips to aspiring writers plus I donate tons of free books per year to kids. Building Voices recently started a reading program called Reading Builds Character which encourages kids to read at least 15 minutes per day. I am a big advocate for reading, writing, and building the voices of our youth. I use my social media sites to get the word out to parents to read more with their children.

4. What would a $100,000 grant mean to your business and how will you utilize the funds? Please be as specific as possible.

I believe that every book counts and no child should go without good reading material so a $100,000 would be the supreme blessing right now. It would allow me to donate more books to kids. Through book donations, we were able to donate at least 100 books. Actually having a financial budget would allow us to donate way more. Also, it would allow me to further develop our reading program, Reading Builds Character. Many parents, especially single mothers and parents from underserved areas don’t spend the proper time reading with their children. Well, this grant would allow us to educate more parents and supply kids with the proper reading material that they deserve. Lastly, the money would be used to enhance our book series, Little Kids, Big Voices. Currently, we have a chapter book, coloring book, interactive journal, math workbook, and a school planner coming soon. This money would allow us to create more curriculum guides, activity books, and educational novels.

5. What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term growth plans for the business? How will this grant contribute to your plan?

My short-term plan is to educate and build one mind at a time by bringing awareness to more children and parents about the benefits of reading and unleashing the voice that lives within them. My long-term goal is to reach 1,000,000 children and families by 2019.

Please vote for us here!

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