Last Friday, 12 people walked out of the Macy’s New York flagship store on 34th Street and into the weekend better equipped to face the world. It was the first day of the rest of their professional lives, their careers and the future of their small businesses.
After four and a half grueling days of rigorous classes, they became the fourth set of graduates of Macy’s prestigious and ultra-exclusive minorities and women-owned business development workshop program.
Called simply the Workshop at Macy’s, it is an exclusive vendor retail development program designed to give select high potential minority and female business owners the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.
“The idea of the program is to build a pipeline of new entrepreneurs and resources that can benefit the entire industry. Helping companies acquire the tools and skills necessary to scale and really be sustainable in the industry.”
Shawn Outler is group vice president leased businesses/vendor collaboration/multicultural Business development at Macy’s. She is also the author of the program.
The program, now in its fourth year, takes candidates who own businesses that show blazing potential and makes them better.
And by the way it doesn’t cost a dime, it’s all free.
Outler says, “We are looking for companies that are minority or women-owned who have unique products that we think will be assets to us and our customers. Filling a wide space that we think our customers or someone else in the industry will benefit from.”
To get a clearer picture of how exclusive and invaluable the program is, consider the following.
More than 38,000 people logged onto the website when the application process started in September 2013.
By February, just 1,000 applications had been accepted. Of the 1,000 applicants, Macy’s accepted only 12.
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