Are you a Black Entrepreneur? Are you looking for funding to help support or grow your business? Then you do not want to miss this opportunity. The National Black Business Pitch Competition is officially on its way and moving forward in full force. Dr. Pamela Williamson, the CEO/President of WBEC-West, is proud to announce the official kick-off of the NBBP (National Black Business Pitch Competition)
The National Black Business Pitch (NBBP) is a virtual competition designed to connect Black-owned businesses to corporations who look to expand and diversify their supply chain with new products and services.
The National Black Business Pitch Competition is powered by the WBEC-West Board of Directors. Recently I had a chance to sit with the CEO/President, Dr. Pamela Williamson, to discuss this newly launched competition.
Dr. Williamson, can you share with us the goals of the NBBP Competition?
Dr. Williamson: Great Question. Through the National Black Business Pitch, we look to do more than supplying a seat at the table, and we are looking to add black businesses to the menu of options that corporations can source products and services from. We look to open doors and build relationships that can lead to long-term and sustainable contracts for Black Owned Business. The goal is to create a Black business network that corporations can access and do business with.
What has inspired the WBEC-West Board to implement the NBBP?
Dr. Williamson: Over the past few years, we have gotten sourcing requests from multiple corporations looking to procure products or services from black-owned companies, and we did not have anyone within our database to fill those requests. After brainstorming with the board and the WBEC-West Team, the National Black Pitch was created. There are so many black-owned and operated companies that do not know that they have the ability to sell their products and services to corporations. This competition is designed to inform black businesses that corporations are looking to buy their products and services. It is also designed to connect them with opportunities and to educate them around the best practices of pitching their business.
Since WBEC-West is a non-profit organization and this competition has excellent prize money to award not just one but 3 Black-Owned Businesses, can you tell share with us how you funded this new program?
Dr. Williamson: Certainly, WBEC-West has been extremely fortunate to work with some excellent Corporations. We reached out with the initiative, and our corporate members jumped at the opportunity to support the initiative and offered sponsorship.
Many of these pitch competitions are sales tactics for professional business coaches. Are you trying to sell anything?
Dr. Williamson: NO! WBEC-West is a non-profit organization, and we do not offer direct coaching. The NBBP is about increasing the number of Black-owned, operated, and controlled businesses into corporate America’s supply chain throughout the United States. It is about not only providing a seat at the table but opening doors and building relationships!
Great, if I am a black-owned business that desires to participate, what do I need to start?
Dr. Williamson: If you are a company that is 51% Black-owned, operated, and controlled business anywhere in the United States, and have a product or service that corporate America can utilize and you’re interested in submitting a pitch, then first I suggest you visit the website https://nationalblackbusinesspitch.com/ Then you will complete an application and submit a three-minute video about your company no later than June 1, 2021.
And how will submissions be judged?
Dr. Williamson: Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges from the corporate supplier diversity community who will select thirty businesses to advance to the final competition.
Can you share more insight on the finals?
Dr. Williamson: Of course, the final competition will consist of a 3-day live virtual event on August 17, 18, & 19, 2021. The business owner will Pitch his or her business to multiply corporations from across the United States.
At any time, will a business owner be required to pay anything in the efforts to win one of the 3 CASH Prizes?
Dr. Williamson: No! At no time during the NBBP will a Black-Owned business have to pay to participate.
Where can I find out more information and guidelines on this competition?
Dr. Williamson: Please visit the website, and you will find all the information, guidelines, and requirements, plus the link to submit your application and video at https://nationalblackbusinesspitch.com/
If someone is interested in sponsoring the NBBP Competition, what do they need to do?
Dr. Williamson: If someone is interested in supporting this initiative, they can reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or go onto the website; there is a direct link for sponsorship. I encourage any corporation that is looking to do business with black-owned companies to sign up to attend the event. Be a judge and, of course, sponsor the event.