Browse all past winners


Leigh Rapaport 146 Views

Gather-GR is a new way to create social and networking opportunities, built upon meaningful and authentic experiences. I love connecting people, and I love creating experiences for people. Gather-GR will do both of those things! The focus on female entrepreneurs as well as the women in Grand Rapids who are actively looking to support their community will separate Gather-GR from the pack, and will allow for us to constantly curate programming and opportunities specific to those involved.

Building a brand and reputation is always a challenge because it’s a slow process. But Gather-GR’s Instagram already has over 350 followers. Event programming and management takes a lot of time and financial resources.  I’ve already hosted two events that were paired with women-owned local businesses, and the right first step will help build a nest egg to continue planning and growing.


The women in Grand Rapids who are entrepreneurs; women in Grand Rapids who are like-minded in their brief in supporting local businesses; women who are new to Gran Rapids and are looking to create a support system; Female entrepreneurs who are looking to build their network.

There will be in-person experiences to meet and connect with other women in Grand Rapids. There will also be a 24/7 support system found online on social media platforms. Relationships will foster in a wide variety of ways.

What I Will Do With $5,000

$5000 is a great stepping stone to help launch Gather-GR into the next phase. It will allow for more marketing efforts to be build and implemented. It will also help in financing larger events that could reach a greater audience. A female-centric work space is in the dream plan and that money could help in finding and creating a space for that to happen.

Idea Links

Leigh’s avatar

About Leigh Rapaport

Born and raised in Grand Rapids. Lived in Manhattan but moved back to enjoy all the GR has to offer. Love being involved in the community - I'm a graduate of the GR Chambers 2015 class of Emerging Leaders, and I'm currently on the board for the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids. I have a passion for creating positive and meaningful experiences for people. Lover of wine, photography, and pop culture. I have a rescue dog named Frankie and he's the cutest dog in the entire world.

Voting Closes: