MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -A competition, geared toward black-owned businesses, is hoping to give entrepreneurs a boost.
“Entrepreneurship is hard, in general, for any of us that are crazy enough to step out on our own, and really try to build something, it’s just, it’s hard,” explained one of the competition’s creators Terri Reynolds. “But then the next layer for entrepreneurs of color, there are just unique challenges there.
Reynolds says entrepreneurs can also have a harder time getting access to capital.
“We can have a harder time finding those right mentors and advisors to help us take the right business steps and then there can also be some challenges there in just building the right network necessary to grow the business,” Reynolds explained. “So we thought it was just really important to kind of create this ground that is not just for black-owned businesses. We want to bring all Alabamians to the table to look at what’s going on in the black-owned business community, create opportunities for networking and for support.”
With the “Ready, Set, Pitch” competition, the Black Market Street USA initiative will expose businesses to a big audience.
“With COVID, a lot of businesses have been impacted by the pandemic, and it’s had a disproportionate effect on black-owned businesses, so we really wanted to give a platform to just encourage these businesses to keep going and to let everyone across the state know just how thriving Alabama’s black business community is,” said Reyolds.
Reynolds says Black Market Street was started to promote and encourage entrepreneurship throughout Alabama’s black business community.
“Initially, we were going to do a series of pop-up shops across the state,” Reynolds explained. “But then, obviously, COVID hit and in the interest of safety, we kind of had to go back and look at what are some creative ways that we can promote black-owned businesses across the state and encourage entrepreneurship. So, “Ready, Set, Pitch was born just out of COVID and tried to keep things going and keep life going while keeping people safe. "
The competition is open for any business, any entrepreneur, Reynolds added.
“If you want to take advantage of this opportunity to promote your business, all you have to do is record the video, email it to us at info@BlackMarketStreet.org, and we will start the promotion process,” Reynolds said. “And so in early March, we’ve got a panel of entrepreneurs who will be judging and you know, they’ll be judging based on marketability and the quality of the product and the brand and also the interaction on social media. And so in March, we’ll be doing that and rolling out some prizes and things like that.”
Visit www.blackmarketstreet.org for more details about the “Ready, Set, Pitch” competition.
The competition runs through Feb 28th. The top three businesses will be eligible for cash prizes and awards.