The Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation opened grant applications this month for female entrepreneurs looking to start or build their businesses in Michigan.
The foundation, created by Olga’s Kitchen, will provide grants of up to $10,000 in honor of the brand’s late founder and food pioneer known for her signature sandwich.
Applicants must be living in Michigan, be able to write a personal statement demonstrating financial need and must provide a formal business plan.
Applications close on May 6 and are available at olgas.com/foundation-form. Recipients will be announced on May 20 to commemorate Loizon’s birthday.
“Olga Loizon overcame countless obstacles as she built one of metro Detroit’s most beloved restaurant concepts more than 50 years ago,” said Loredana Gianino, director of marketing at Olga’s Kitchen, in a news release. “We hope that the next generation of women business owners are inspired by her passion, ambition and vision.
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Olga’s wants to support these aspiring leaders as they craft the next iconic Michigan business.”
Those interested in supporting female entrepreneurs can donate to the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation at olgas.com/donate.
Last year, the foundation awarded Sticky Spoons Jam of Niles and U-Plant Landscape Designs Greater Grand Rapids, two female-owned businesses, with grants totaling $20,000.
Olga’s Kitchen began in the 1960s, when Loizon returned to the Mediterranean to visit her family.
Loizon was a pioneering business woman and restaurateur in Metro Detroit, opening her first restaurant in Birmingham in the 1970s when few women did such things, and growing it into the expansive chain that Olga’s Kitchen is today.
When Loizon died at age 92 in 2019, her family and company launched the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation.