NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / September 25, 2022 / Three woman-owned small businesses placed 1st , 2nd , and 3rd in this year's She Means Business pitch competition and were awarded a total of $10,000 in cash from The Enterprise Center at PathStone on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Victoria E. Thomas-Bodie from Indianapolis IN, owner of The Pink Tub , Channel Sabado from Rochester NY, owner of Glow Spa Roc , and Deona Pippen from Buffalo NY, owner of Tha Bakery Store, were the three winners amongst the top 10 participants who made it to the final round, and from a pool of 19 that participated in the pitch competition.
"The Enterprise Center at PathStone is committed to the future of the women-owned small businesses in upstate NY, many who were left most vulnerable after the covid 19 pandemic. We thank all our partners and funders who were part of this effort, and 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 NY." Javier Zapata, President and Executive Director, The Enterprise Center at PathStone.
As part of the pitch competition, four judges evaluated each pitch and assigned value for categories such as: clarity in defining target market, product/service fit, competitors, ability to answer questions, and provide details on the amount of startup or growth funds needed, as well as the overall presentation. Citizens, a supporter of the initiative, also had personnel participating as judges.
"Citizens is proud to support our community partner PathStone with an Economic Opportunity Fund which provided monetary support to the She Means Business Program Pitch Competition. This program, focused on BIPOC women-owned small businesses in western NY, has uplifted many small businesses, helping them navigate through COVID and beyond. It was an honor to judge the Pitch Contest and learn about the great small businesses that Citizens is proud to support." Lisa Giordano East Region Community Development Market Manager, Citizens
She Means Business is a 7-week virtual intensive curriculum designed to take women entrepreneurs through the steps and processes needed to succeed in business, going from ideation to launch, from recession to expansion, and job creation. This year's program attracted 61 participants throughout Buffalo, Indiana, NYC, Pennsylvania, and Rochester. In collaboration with Citizens, and with lead facilitator, Kimberly Mitchell, owner of Ujoozi , this program delivered information related to business foundations and operations, marketing, financials, and pitch preparation. Financial modules were paired with one-on-one mentorship from David Kraus, co-founder of NuLevel Strategies.
The Enterprise Center at PathStone (PECI), a non-profit, helps improve economic self-sufficiency and quality of life of individuals and communities through entrepreneurial training, technical assistance, and access to direct financing through loans for micro, small and medium-sized companies in Northern and Western New York and Puerto Rico. In 1998, PECI was appointed by the Department of the Federal Treasury as a financial institution for community development (CDFI).
Throughout a long history of work in the community, The Enterprise Center at PathStone has granted loans to small and micro enterprises, jointly with a solid technical assistance program before and after the loan approval to support the growth of its participants. Their loans have more flexible terms and fluctuate between $5,000 to $250,000.
Since its inception, PECI has generated over 1,800 loans, providing over $44 million to small businesses, and helping retain or create over 3,200 jobs. A majority (65%) of business owners in the current portfolio are People of Color, and in response to the pandemic, PECI provided virtual training and technical assistance to over 800 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
SOURCE: The Enterprise Center at PathStone