Rio Rancho woman to enter 55+ startup contest

Leslie Lamb poses for a portrait at the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday, June 3, 2022. Lamb is competing to be one of two entrepreneurs to be offered $10,000 through GetSetUp. She develops Grace Place Creative, a digital design company specializing in providing products and services to home-based businesses. (Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Like many people, Leslie Lamb saw her life turned upside down when the pandemic hit.

His job as a retail merchandiser in grocery stores was suddenly unpredictable, and his usual outlets for socializing in senior centers were no longer an option.

In an attempt to break the isolation she felt, the 60-year-old Rio Rancho resident said she signed up for an online program she found in a magazine.

This decision led her to discover a new set of skills and now run her own digital design company, Grace Place Creative, while participating in an international startup competition for entrepreneurs aged 55 and over.

Lamb is one of 17 finalists out of several hundred applicants to participate in GetSetUp’s business pitch competition demo days held online Tuesday through Thursday.

The top two winners will win $10,000 to help grow their business.

“I’m so grateful to have a few minutes of these people’s time just to pitch what has now become a project that I’m passionate about and will be my company,” Lamb said.

The competition comes 12 weeks after the start of the GetSetUp Startup Accelerator program, which helps older entrepreneurs start a business to pitch to venture capitalists and business owners.

Lamb said her involvement with GetSetUp, a company aimed at helping seniors learn new skills or start businesses, began at the start of the pandemic when she signed up for some cooking classes held via Zoom. .

As a newcomer to online learning, Lamb said she was initially nervous about turning on her camera and actively participating until one of the teachers asked her to help. to teach.

Lamb was hooked and soon became a volunteer social worker teaching her own set of weekly classes.

As part of the classes, Lamb said she began preparing materials for her attendees through Canva, an online design website.

She soon realized she had a knack for design, a field she had no prior experience in, which led her to participate in the Startup Accelerator program where she launched her new business, Grace Square Creative.

Lamb said his new venture aims to help other small businesses build their brand and create marketing materials by participating in a six-week intensive digital course.

Participants, she said, will leave the course after learning how to use Canva to market themselves while creating materials, like business cards and social media posts, to use to grow their business.

“When they leave the program, they will have items that they created and they will be items that they will want to have,” she said.

Although Lamb lives in Rio Rancho, she said her classes are available to business owners around the world since they are taught online.

Lamb said the program has helped her grow professionally and personally, and her company’s name comes from an acronym for Growth, Ingenuity, Responsibility, Community and Empowerment – all skills she said she learned. through the business accelerator program and the skills she hopes to pass on to those who take her class.

Now that her business is launched, Lamb said she is looking for a group of beta program participants who will be able to purchase her course at a discounted rate of $77. The course will eventually cost $147 after the beta trial.

For more information or to sign up for beta courses, email

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