TUPELO – For the first time, the Minority PUL Alliance is having a business competition, and the winners will get to share $5,500 in cash awards.
Winners will be chosen in three categories: new business, existing business and youth business. For the new businesses category, with a $3,000 prize, the requirement is that the business must have started no more than 12 months ago. For the existing business category, with a $2,000 prize, the business must be older than 12 months. For the youth business category, with a $500 prize, competitors need only be age 18 or under.
"The top five entries in each category will be selected by a four-judge panel, which includes a successful business owner, a marketing person, a manufacturing person and someone in banking," said Ashley Armstrong, MPULA administrator. "Of the top five in each category, they'll be invited to a face-to-face interview at the end of March or early April."
The organization had originally planned on the competition a couple of years ago, but the COVID pandemic delayed those plans until this year.
There is no entry fee for the competition, but in addition to completing the entry form, a professional headshot must be submitted, along with a business plan, an explanation of how the funds will be used, plus two or three slides on the business concept and/or product.
Entry forms are being accepted from through March 13, and the competition is open to all minorities, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic, Latino Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and women.
MPULA was formed in 2007, to improve the awareness of minority businesses and to bridge the gap between in relationships between corporations and minority businesses.
The group hosts workshops to promote business growth and literacy, roundtable discussions and business networking events. This year MPULA plans to bring more awareness to the organization by broadening its sponsored programs and services, starting with the business competition.
MPULA has 12 corporate members and more than small business owners. To join email firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership dues are $100 annually.
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