Preview B.E. Business Report: 2011 Elevator Pitch Contest Winners

On the next edition of the Black Enterprise Business Report, hosted by Caroline V. Clarke, our Entrepreneur of the Week segment spotlights the winners of the Elevator Pitch Competition at the 2011 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Atlanta. This contest invites business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to submit videos of 60 seconds or less to’s Ning community, BE Insider, explaining the merits of their business. The grand prize: $10,000 in investment capital, along with access to training, business mentorship and other resources to help achieve the goal of building a profitable company. This year’s competition generated nearly 200 entries, more than in any previous year.

Ten finalists were selected to pitch live at the Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo before a panel of judges, including attorney, author and TV personality Star Jones; The Cashflow CEO Magnus Greaves; comedian and entrepreneur J. Anthony Brown of the Tom Joyner Morning Show; and Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. The 2011 Elevator Pitch Competition resulted in the first ever recognition of three winners, who each received $10,000 grants from Black Enterprise, The Cashflow, and Pepsico, sponsors of the finalists competition at the Entrepreneurs Conference. The winning entrepreneurs are Brandon Butler, CEO of The Web Site Shop in Atlanta; Jenna Burrell, CEO of The Frock Shop in Chicago; and Douglas Wiggins, CEO of Bodyquest Ice Cream, also in Atlanta.

Dr. Dennis Kimbro is this week’s Power Player. Kimbro, a professor at Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business, has authored best-selling books on the secrets of some of the world’s must accomplish people in history, including the classics Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice (Fawcett) and What Makes The Great Great (Broadway). He’s made it his life’s mission to study and analyze the attributes of extraordinarily successful individuals and discover the common threads among today’s business leaders. Kimbro is currently working on his next book, Have vs. Have Not: What Black Millionaires Know That Others Do Not.

Also, in our Wealth for Life segment, we visit with Maggie Anderson, co-founder of The Empowerment Experiment, which was created when she and her husband, Jonathan, committed to a full year of directing their family purchases to Black-owned businesses. Anderson shares what their experiment taught them, why “buying Black” is important and what the new goals of the program are.

Black Enterprise Business Report is the award-winning weekly, half-hour program offering a mix of one-on-one Power Player interviews with top Black corporate executives, Wealth for Life discussions on personal finance, Entrepreneur of the Week profiles of successful small business owners, Quick Tips providing actionable advice from top business leaders, and Executive Style featuring the hottest lifestyle trends and luxury living for today’s consumer.

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