Carver Federal Savings Bank in partnership with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), announced the 2022 Minority Women-Owned Business Pitch Competition during the recent Harlem Week festivities.
The competition, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 1, and ends Thursday, Sept. 22, was designed in response to climate change and the disproportionate negative impact on communities of color. Women entrepreneurs aged 18 or older, whose businesses are in the Greater New York Area, are invited to submit a written application and business plan during the contest period, which details their plans to enhance energy efficiency at their company.
A total of $10,000 will be awarded to two minority women business owners with each recipient receiving $5,000.
Carver Bank President and CEO Michael Pugh said, “Climate change is an existential threat to all of us and it is incumbent upon business owners to do their part to make their operations more environmentally friendly. However, not all small business entrepreneurs have the wherewithal, or the access to capital, necessary to make these essential updates to their business—and that is especially true of women and minority small business owners, who historically have had less opportunity to generate wealth and access financial capital. Therefore, we are pleased to partner with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and provide these women-owned businesses a platform to show their creativity and an avenue for accessing the funds necessary to make their businesses more sustainable and viable for the years ahead.”
The top five selected candidates will be invited to present their business pitch to a panel of judges, made up of executives from Carver and GHCC, at an event on Friday, Sept. 30, with an official announcement of the winners set to take place at a Greater Harlem Chamber Commerce event on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Prizes will be awarded in the form of grants, which can be used towards the purchase of equipment, technology, or operational systems to support energy efficiency and improvements. In addition to the grant award, winners of the competition will have access to a member of the Carver Executive Team for six months to discuss strategy and implementation of the grant, and additional resources needed to support the business. The winners will be recognized in October at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.