Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

Citizens Bank Small Business Competition Award Winners are Announced

Posted on 11/2/2021 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- In a special presentation during LAEDA's Annual graduation, the winners of the LAEDA-Citizens Bank Small Business Pitch Competition were announced. The competition, open to LAEDA alumni as well as recent graduates, gave prizes totaling $10,000 to individuals who successfully completed either the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) or Women’s Business Academy (WBA). Two (2) prizes were awarded to past EDTP/ WBA alumni and one (1) prize was awarded to a recent participant of the nine-week program.

The competition consisted of two rounds where round one consisted of making a compelling case on how the prize money will help the business get to the next level. There were over twenty-five (25) applicants who jumped at the chance to advance to round two and get one step closer to receiving money for their business. In a grueling process, eleven (11) business owners were selected to move to round two. During round two, entrepreneurs not only received training on advanced business topics but also had the opportunity to pitch their business to representatives from Citizens Bank.

The competition finalists represented a wide range of industries ranging from janitorial to a support group for mothers. Finalists included Karl Carter (janitorial), Dominique Williams (technical training school), Shakira Sampson (home healthcare, Jameca Jolly (mobile bartending), Fatima Grant (natural hair care salon), Christina Acosta-Martinez (mom's support group), Derek Brock (automotive services), Tracy Ferguson (event planning), Geovana Villacres (marketing and branding), April Ward (multimedia services), and A. Jermaine Sumlin (painting).

Due to great pitches and innovative ways to spend the prize money, these finalists made it very difficult for the judges to determone a winner in each category. Judges soon chose winners to be announced in a special presentation during the 2021 graduation ceremony. During the presentation, Judge Sharana Worsley, Vice President of Community Development Market Manager stated, “Thank you for turning this into reality... You gave great pitches even when you had to do this from the car!” Worsley's colleague and fellow judge Ron J. lorii Jr., Vice President of Business Banking Relationship Manager added, “I am proud of all of you and anything I can do to help please reach out and let me know. You guys made it through a hard time in the history of United States.”

After much anticipation, the winners of the competition were announced:

(1) First place our LAEDA Alumnus Dominique Williams with Instrumental Sterile Processing Institute

(2) Second place our LAEDA Alumna Jameca Michelle with Pour It Up, LLC

(3) Third place our most recent LAEDA Alumni April and James Ward with Fruition Life Media LLC DBA Creative Content on Demand

LAEDA would like to thank all of the participants in the competition and looks forward to bringing opportunities like these to our alumni in the future.