Black Girls Learn How to Jumpstart a Business?

I attended the Core City: Cleveland Entrepreneurial Showcase, held at Jumpstart, showcasing 5 entrepreneurs pitching their businesses for a $10,000 prize. The event was made possible with support from KeyBank, the City of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Foundation. Pearl Flower Catering provided a delicious menu for the event

Pearl Flower Catering Blackgirlincle
menu Pearl Flower Catering blackgirlincle

The Program

The Core City: Cleveland program is open to any small business owner who lives or owns a business in the city of Cleveland. Entrepreneurs are teamed up with Jumpstart business experts and go through one-on-one business advising and are connected with business resources.

The Impact program is held twice each year. It is an intensive 12-week program, it focuses on various aspects of building a business such as financials, and marketing.

The program also boasts such notable alumni as Simply Betsy, GrooveRyde, Ujima Re-Fresh, and B2B Polishing

I witnessed pitches by the 4th cohort of the Impact program, featuring 5 entrepreneurs:

  1. Getting Our Babies to College 101

  2. Mr. Officials

  3. Urban Kutz Barbershop

  4. Backattack Snacks

  5. Our Favorite Things Too Barbershop

The Competition

Core City Cle judges

Each entrepreneur gave a 12-minute pitch about their business and plans for the prize money. I was so inspired being in a room full of people who were working on making their dreams come true.

I was also taken aback by the stories of what motivated them to start their business. They told stories of being bullied as children, trying to afford college for their children, loss of family members, health scares, and growing up without as the early seeds of starting their business.

I was also excited to hear about the positive impact their businesses are having on the city and the potential growth of the city.  The business owners talked about being able to create jobs, being part of neighborhood revitalization, providing opportunities for other entrepreneurs and helping kids as part of their growth plan.

Four judges asked each business owner questions after the pitches and made the tough decision of deciding the winner. Waverly Willis from Urban Kutz Barbershop won the competition. With the prize money, he will expand and open new locations around the city of Cleveland.

Core City: Cleveland via BLackgirlincle

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the program.  Jumpstart is in the beginning stages of planning the 5th cohort.  We were urged to sign up for the introductory one-on-one meeting at the event.

 If you’d like to know more about Jumpstart check out their website or sign-up for a one-on-one session.