Business Plan Competition For Entrepreneurs

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NMBCThe National Minority Business Council Inc. has organized a business plan competition under its Entrepreneurship Boot Camp program for new, early-stage and seasoned entrepreneurs. Business plans submitted for the competition must be no more than 15 pages long, and must be submitted electronically to info@nmbcglobal.org no later than Friday, Dec. 18. The competition is open to members of the Council and to non-Council members who are minority and women and veteran business owners, but only the first 25 plans received will be considered.

John F. Robinson, the NMBC’s president and CEO, says the competition is designed to help entrepreneurs fine-tune their business operations for survival and growth during the current economic recession and beyond. “Many people see the business plan only as an essential tool to get a new venture under way. However, it can be used by those beyond the startup stage to assess their business from the perspective of where they would like to be in the next five to ten years or more,” Robinson says.

Productivity has emerged as one of the most important business challenges for this century is productivity and a business plan should be part of every entrepreneur’s arsenal for meeting that particular challenge, says Fritz-Earle McLymont, managing director of the NMBC’s global division and an instructor with the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. The Network Journal is a co-sponsor of the Boot Camp.

“Any business seeking a globally competitive advantage must be an efficient producer of its products and/or services. A sound business plan is a first step, and should be a part of the overall strategy for survival and growth,” McLymont says. In order to be considered for the competition, he adds, plans must adhere to the following outline:
A.    Title page
B.    Table of contents
C.    Executive summary
D.    Vision and mission statement
E.    Company overview
F.    Products and/or services plan
G.    Marketing plan
H.    Management plan
I.    Operating plan
J.    Financial plan and two-year projections
K.    Appendix, with supporting documents

NMBC officials are hopeful that the very act of preparing a business plan will be a worthwhile experience for all participants, no matter whose plans are accepted and no matter who wins. To that end, entrepreneurs may request a free 30-minute consultation with any Boot Camp instructor as they develop their plans, the officials say.

Winners will be announced at a special luncheon during the third week of January 2010.
The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $300, the second-place winner will receive $200, and the third-place winner $100. All 25 competitors will receive a free and confidential review of their plan. “Participants will be happy to hear that every plan submitted will be treated as a confidential, proprietary document and will not be shared with anyone outside the panel of judges,” Robinson says.

The NMBC Entrepreneurship Boot Camp was launched in February 2009, with sponsorship by The Bank of New York Mellon, The Network Journal and New York State’s Division of Minority- and/or Women-Owned Business Development. Instructors help assess participants’ entrepreneurial readiness and fine-tune their skills to successfully operate business ventures, using such tools as lectures, role playing, and sharing in-the-trenches experiences. Lecture topics cover critical areas of running a business, such as goals setting, formulating success strategies, SWOT analysis, developing a business plan and controlling finances and personnel. 

Entrepreneurs who are interested in learning more about or participating in the Business Plan Competition and/or Entrepreneurship Boot Camp should contact John F. Robinson at 212-693-5050, or Fritz-Earle McLymont by e-mail at info@nmbcglobal.org.