Local entrepreneur receives award

Local entrepreneur receives award

Release date: 1/31/2018

Local entrepreneur receives Key Advanced Entrepreneur Award at Cuyahoga County Public Library
Award recipient developed winning business concept at free library program sponsored by KeyBank Foundation

Jacqueline Achadu, owner of Hunny Bunny’s Confections LLC, is the first recipient of the Key Advanced Entrepreneur Award presented by KeyBank, the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), and Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL). Representatives of KeyBank, ECDI, and CCPL presented Ms. Achadu with the $5,000 award at a special event held in CCPL’s Warrensville Heights Branch on Tuesday, January 23rd at 2:00 PM.
Achadu was selected to receive the Key Advanced Entrepreneur Award after completing the Key Advanced Entrepreneurs Series, a free four-week program held at CCPL’s Parma Branch. More than 100 aspiring entrepreneurs were considered for the award. The library program is designed to help entrepreneurs who are ready to enhance their business ideas or expand their small enterprises into viable and profitable businesses. Business development experts work with program participants to advance their development in four critical areas: business concept, organization, customer relations, and operations using the GrowthWheel® concept, an interactive tool that helps entrepreneurs develop their businesses through an action-oriented process.

ECDI facilitated the grant disbursement on behalf of the KeyBank Foundation. “When it came time to choose an award recipient, Jackie rose to the top,” said Lauren Smith, ECDI’s Entrepreneurial Services Manager. “She lights up the room. She’s a good person, a good business woman and a deserving award recipient.”   

Our mission is to help clients and communities thrive. Small businesses are at the heart of our communities, serving as the economic engine. Through this award, we are proud to support small business development and partnerships that advance entrepreneurship,” said Adriene K. Bruce, KeyBank’s Vice President, Corporate Responsibility Officer. “Congratulations to Jacqueline, we look forward to seeing her business continue to grow.”

CCPL has built a strong programming core to support entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout Cuyahoga County,” said CCPL Executive Director Sari Feldman. “Our collaborations with KeyBank, the KeyBank Foundation, and ECDI have made it possible to provide critical resources and information to the people who drive our economy. As libraries transform to be less about what we have for people, and more about what we do for and with people, we’re proud to be able to support entrepreneurs like Jackie and help foster individual opportunity and community progress.” 

Achadu said she named her custom cake push pop business Hunny Bunny’s Confections in honor of a pet name her mother was fond of using. “It’s my way of keeping her spirit alive,” explained Achadu. “She called everyone ‘honey bunny’.” She added, “I thought I knew a lot about starting a business when I entered Key Advanced Entrepreneurs, but the program introduced me to so many new concepts, like working backwards to project costs and effective marketing strategies, and the library was a great atmosphere to learn. It was so accessible and there are so many helpful resources right there – computers, study rooms – it was a phenomenal experience.” Achadu added that the award and ECDI loan will help expand her operation to a new kitchen space. “I’ve outgrown my home kitchen,” she said. “My next step is to find a larger space.”  

About the KeyBank Foundation

Beyond traditional banking products and services, Key supports communities through the important work of KeyBank Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1969 and funded by KeyCorp. The Foundation’s mission is to support organizations and programs that prepare individuals for thriving futures and is advanced through three funding priorities – Neighbors, Education, and Workforce – and through Community Service.

About ECDI

Since 2004, ECDI has assisted Ohio’s entrepreneurs through their one-stop-shop business services model, suited to meet the needs of all entrepreneurs, regardless of what business stage they’re in. From providing capital to entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses, to providing focused, business-specific educational opportunities to enhance entrepreneurial skill sets, ECDI works with their clients to meet their specific needs. Whether you merely have a business idea or are opening your fifth location, ECDI’s “never say no” approach has allowed over ten thousand entrepreneurs to take advantage of the services they provide. Visit www.ecdi.org today to learn more.

About Cuyahoga County Public Library
At Cuyahoga County Public Library we are committed to our mission of being at the center of community life by creating an environment where reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement thrive and our vision to be the most convenient library system in the country.

Hallie Rich
Communications & External Relations Director
Robert J. Rua
Assistant Marketing & Communications Director