NEW YORK, NY/ACCESSWIRE/September 25, 2022/ Three women-owned small businesses placed 1st 2n/a and 3rd in this year’s She Means Business pitch competition and received a total of $10,000 in cash from PathStone’s Enterprise Center on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Victoria E. Thomas-Bodie of Indianapolis IN, owner of The pink bathtub Channel Sabado of Rochester NY, owner of Glow Spa Roc and Deona Pippen of Buffalo NY, owner of The bakery, were the three winners from the top 10 entrants who made it to the final round, and from a group of 19 who took part in the pitch competition.
“PathStone’s Enterprise Center is committed to the future of women-owned small businesses in Upstate New York, many of whom have been most vulnerable following the covid 19 pandemic. We thank all of our partners and funders who participated in this effort, and more More specifically Citizens , for sponsoring the elevator pitch competition for a second consecutive year. Collaborations like these will result in a stronger small business ecosystem in upstate New York.” Javier Zapata, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PathStone Enterprise Center.
As part of the pitch competition, four judges evaluated each pitch and assigned a value for categories such as: clarity in defining the target market, product/service fit, competitors, ability to answer questions and provide details on the amount of start-up or growth funds needed, as well as the general presentation. Citizens, supporters of the initiative, also had staff participating as judges.
“Citizens are proud to support our community partner PathStone with an economic opportunity fund that provided financial support for the She Means Business program pitch competition. This program, focused on BIPOC women-owned small businesses in the western New York, has boosted many small businesses, helping navigate through COVID and beyond. It was an honor to judge the pitch contest and learn more about the great small businesses that Citizens is proud to support. Lisa Giordano Eastern Region Community Development Market Manager, Citizens
She Means Business is an intensive 7-week virtual program designed to guide women entrepreneurs through the steps and processes necessary to succeed in business, from ideation to launch, recession to expansion and business creation. jobs. This year’s program drew 61 participants from across Buffalo, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Rochester. In collaboration with Citizens and with lead animator Kimberly Mitchell, owner of Ujoozi , this program provided information on business foundations and operations, marketing, finance, and pitch preparation. The financial modules were paired with one-on-one mentoring from David Kraus, co-founder of NuLevel Strategies.
The PathStone Enterprise Center (PECI), a non-profit organization, helps improve the economic self-sufficiency and quality of life of individuals and communities through entrepreneurial training, technical assistance and access to direct funding through loans for micro, small and medium enterprises in the North and West. New York and Puerto Rico. In 1998, PECI was designated by the Federal Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
Throughout a long history of working in the community, PathStone’s The Enterprise Center has provided loans to small and micro-enterprises, in conjunction with a strong technical assistance program before and after loan approval to support the growth of its participants. Their loans have more flexible terms and range between $5,000 and $250,000.
Since its inception, PECI has originated more than 1,800 loans, provided more than $44 million to small businesses, and helped retain or create more than 3,200 jobs. The majority (65%) of business owners in the current portfolio are people of color, and in response to the pandemic, PECI has provided virtual training and technical assistance to over 800 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
THE SOURCE: The PathStone Enterprise Center
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