DALLAS, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand today announced the launch of the Huggies MomInspired Grant Program, providing inventive moms up to $250,000 total in seed capital and business resources to turn their great ideas into real-world product solutions.
According to research from Babson College, although women in the United States have been credited with starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of men, only about three percent of these women-run businesses attract investments from venture capital. And, in a recent survey of moms commissioned by the Huggies brand, the top-ranked challenge for those who have considered starting their own business is access to capital and financial resources (65 percent). Moms agree that the most helpful resource to starting their own business would be smaller grants for seed/start-up money, in addition to advice from other mom inventors or entrepreneurs like themselves.(1)
"We're excited to introduce this program as it presents a completely new open innovation path for Kimberly-Clark and our Huggies brand," said Tony Palmer, chief marketing officer for Kimberly-Clark. "As the 16th largest consumer packaged goods company in the world, we see innovation as central to our future. Huggies MomInspired not only offers the potential for the Huggies brand to identify new product innovation, it also provides an opportunity to celebrate and take our relationship with our loyal moms to a new level."
In 2010, the Huggies brand will invest up to $250,000 in these mom experts as a new way to capture, support and potentially bring to market real-world solutions for parents. In order to be considered for a grant, moms must submit an application online, outlining a unique baby or child care product idea that addresses an unmet parenting need. The winners will be awarded with up to $15,000 per grant to help fund their product ideas.
Maria Bailey, mother of four, founder of BlueSuitMom.com and author of The Ultimate Mom Book, provided invaluable insights to the Huggies brand in the development of the MomInspired grant program, including what would be the most meaningful type of resource support for mom inventors.
"Moms are some of the most inventive types of people and are naturally the perfect entrepreneur – they are creative problem-solvers that are constantly working to juggle busy, multi-tasking lives," said Bailey. "I interact with thousands of moms, and have seen them come up with great business ideas on a daily basis, but access to tangible educational and financial resources that can help these women shape their ideas have been barriers to success. Programs like Huggies MomInspired are a perfect solution."
Created with the idea of bringing to life products and solutions inspired by personal motherhood experiences, the Huggies MomInspired grant program is designed to help moms looking to make their business dreams a reality without sacrificing their family's future goals or quality of life. Additionally, the program is designed to help K-C identify new-to-the-world product innovations that could become part of the Huggies brand portfolio of baby and child care products solutions.
"From an R&D and product development standpoint, we realize we need to find new and different ways to source innovation -- in this case, through the lens of our most important consumer, mom," said Steve Paljieg, senior director, corporate innovation for Kimberly-Clark. "That's why we believe this program is such a win-win: for mom inventors as well as for the innovative commercial opportunities they will inspire for Kimberly-Clark."
Interested moms can visit www.HuggiesMomInspired.com to apply for a grant through June 9, 2010, and should meet the following requirements:
- Women who are 21 years of age or older
- Currently reside in the United States
- Submit original, innovative and viable business and product ideas for pre-natal care up to 6 years of age, designed to help make life easier for parents so they can better enjoy everyday moments with their little ones. Ideas do not have to be diaper or hygiene-related.
Winning grants will be awarded by late summer 2010.
The Huggies brand helps provide simple solutions for moms and dads to fully enjoy each and every day of parenthood. The Huggies brand is a part of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation portfolio of trusted brands and is essential to helping moms around the world have a better life.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds No. 1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 138-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberlyclark.com.
(1) The study, commissioned by Huggies, surveyed a national sample of 698 mothers ages 18 and older. The margin of error for the total sample of 698 mothers is plus or minus 3.7% at the 95% level of confidence (Fielded by TNS in April 2010).