New West Michigan show lifts up female entrepreneurs

Defense attorney and entrepreneur Raquel Guzman likes to share inspiring advice on social media, whether it’s tips for entrepreneurs or adventurous travelers.

She’s taken her mentoring up a few steps with the new show called "Let's Help Her Win, a reality television series focused on discovering the next successful woman entrepreneur, inventor, visionary, creator and innovator in West Michigan. 

The program provides a platform for women entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of experienced investors, including Guzman. 

“It was such a great honor and so much fun to be an investor on the show,” says Guzman, who is featured on episode three of #LetsHelpHerWin. “I invested in two wonderful business women. I invested in their vision, their passion, and their fire for growth.”

Overcoming barriers

The show, the brainchild of serial entrepreneur and executive producer Kris Mathis, aims to help women overcome the barriers they often face when starting a business.

The show premiered on March 30 at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids, part of a networking event where guests could interact with the show's team and featured entrepreneurs. "Let's Help Her Win" is available on YouTube, with a TV broadcast set for fall 2024.

Raquel Guzman at the premiere of "Let's Help Her Win" at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.

Mathis said he was inspired by his single mother’s journey and is aware of the hurdles women face in entrepreneurship.

When he took his idea of creating a reality show to social media, he was surprised by the interest in his approach. 

“Together we’re elevating others and creating positive change in our community,” Mathis says. 

Season one features 12 women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, all hoping to secure an investment and mentorship from the panel. 

In addition to Guzman, the team of entrepreneur investors includes Ray Jones, Amber Clingman, Theresa Mosley, Joshua Gerber, Stephanie Scott, Karla Velis, Destiny Adams, Nikaira Willis, and Myric Harris. 

The show’s production team was led by director, Shania Lee, founder of Lilies & Sparrows Media. Sound director Kameron Green is the founder of media production company Xperience Live.

Intense experience

Guzman, co-founder of Avanti Law Group in Wyoming, says she appreciated the opportunity to work with and support women entrepreneurs, emphasizing the camaraderie that developed among the all-female crew and the women participants during filming.

The filming process was intensive but rewarding. To help contestants cope with the stress of pitching their business ideas, a therapist was on-site. 

Executive producer Kris Mathis leads a panel discussion with the "Let's Help Her Win" team and participants following the show's premiere.

"The women participating put their heart and a lot of resources into this, and they were away from home and their business to participate," Guzman said. "So they had a therapist to talk them through the process."

Guzman, co-founder of Avanti Law Group in Wyoming, also has business interests with her husband, Rene Guzman, a realtor. They are landlords and investors in various businesses, including a restaurant.

She shared her passion for supporting women entrepreneurs and her love for travel and adventure. "I don't call myself a traveler; I call myself an adventurer," she said, recounting her experiences traveling through India in a rickshaw, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Season two on the way

Production has begun on the second season of “Let's Help Her Win,” and applications are being accepted for entrepreneurs and investors. Mathis is also planning to bring the show's concept to other regions across the U.S.

The series is part of the broader mission of K MAT, one of Mathis’s brands, to invest in startups and early-stage entrepreneurs. In addition to a financial investment, Mathis says his firm provides expertise to help women entrepreneurs with challenges such as marketing, accounting, and web design.

"I believe that women entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy, and we want to do everything we can to support them,” says Mathis. “We know that money is not always the answer, and sometimes what these women need is expertise and guidance. Our vision is to create a new lane of investing in small businesses. We believe that by doing this, we can help our local economy and help small businesses. We're excited to launch this segment and help women entrepreneurs win.

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