At Communities Unlimited we take a community based, regional approach to solving challenges that jeopardize the livelihood of communities. We work side by side with entrepreneurs, communities and organizations to make opportunities accessible to everyone. These are, after all, the same small towns and cities where our employees live and work. By partnering with those who look to a better future, Communities Unlimited provides solutions for achieving sustainable prosperity to those who might have otherwise thought it wasn’t possible. We do this a number of ways – from our community sustainability team who help grow local leadership teams and ecosystems that support local businesses to our entrepreneurship and lending teams that provide one-on-one management consulting and small business loans.
It’s certainly the case that while talent is equally distributed across the country, that it is not always the situation with opportunity. That is why it’s exciting for Communities Unlimited to be a part of GEW 2020. We work to ignite hope in our communities and locally-owned small businesses. For this reason, we have chosen to host the pitch competition, Entrepreneurs Unlimited.
We are targeting entrepreneurs and small businesses who need extra funds to pivot their business because of the pandemic, require additional working capital or simply want to launch a new product or service. Whether it’s an existing business that needs a reboot or a completely new startup idea, those participants are eligible to enter the Entrepreneurs Unlimited competition.
The small business consultants on the Communities Unlimited entrepreneurship team work in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Anyone from one of these states, rural or urban, can participate by registering and submitting a two-minute video. The first 50 entrants will receive a coupon code from GoDaddy that provides hosting and allows the business owner to create a website with built-in marketing tools, all free for one year. Participants located in the Communities Unlimited service area are eligible for free business assistance from a management consultant and consideration for a small business loan.
The top 15 contestants will participate in the live, virtual pitch contest on November 16th. Points will be awarded for idea originality, describing the market and potential customers and providing details about starting or growing the business. Judges from The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Hope Credit Union, Communities Unlimited and GoDaddy will choose a winner and a runner up. First place is $3,000 while second place receives $2,000. Audience members also get a say with a vote of their own and a People’s Choice prize of $1,000.
Small businesses are the core of the economy, and Communities Unlimited works to facilitate the startup and growth of those small businesses. If you know someone in AR, MS, TN, or TX who would be a good candidate for this competition, refer them to communitiesu.org/pitchcontest for more information.