The Billboard Jackson Entrepreneurial Development

CALL FOR ENTRIES

The Bigger and Better Business program of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. invites all aspiring entrepreneurs to participate in the 2017 James A. “Billboard” Jackson Entrepreneurial Development Program. All eligible participants will compete for one of two $10,000 business development grants, which will be presented in the fall of 2017.

The Billboard Jackson Entrepreneurial Development program is designed to invest in members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. who wish to start a business. The program is a component of the fraternity’s Sigma Business Initiative, which is the networking and small business support arm of its Bigger and Better Business Program.

Through the program, Phi Beta Sigma will provide start-up capital to fraternity members who present outstanding business plans at its biannual International Conclave meeting. An expert panel of businessmen will objectively evaluate each presentation according to a rubric system. The fraternity will recognize the outstanding businesses with investment capital to assist in their start-up venture.

To apply, simply download the CALL FOR ENTRIES packet, along with your business plan and return to Brother Quentin Goodwin, International Director, Bigger and Better Business. A panel of judges will review all application packets, and will select finalists for the fall competition. All finalists will then be assembled and asked to present their business plan and idea to the panel; from there, the panel will select the two grant winners.

Please contact your regional Bigger and Better Business Director or Quentin Goodwin, International Director,
at bbb@phibetasigma1914.org, for more information.

BACKGROUND

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The Billboard Jackson Entrepreneurial Development program was established in 2000 as part of the fraternity’s Eastern Region’s Bigger and Better Initiative. The program was named in honor of Hon. Bro. James A. “Billboard” Jackson, a corporate pioneer and first black editor of Billboard Magazine. The region provided two $1,000 business development grants to fraternity members (one collegiate and one alumni member) who submitted outstanding business plans. Past grant recipients have grown their businesses into multi-million dollar enterprises. In 2015, the fraternity voted to expand the Billboard Jackson Entrepreneurial Development program as an initiative under the Sigma Business Initiative program. The program now invites members from each of the fraternity’s seven regions to compete for the development grants.

The first international competition took place in 2016, where 32 businesses submitted business plans for consideration. Out of the initial entries, 8 businesses were selected as finalists, and were invited to present their respective plan at Phi Beta Sigma’s International Headquarters office. The final round was held on September 16, 2016 as part of Phi Beta Sigma’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation week. After careful consideration, the panel selected ALuxuRe (Durham, NC-Southeastern Region) and Krispy Kustoms, Inc. (Manhattan, KS-Southwestern Region) as the two grant recipients. The Bigger and Better Business team looks forward to conducting the next Billboard Jackson competition during the 2017 Conclave.

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