Celebrating 10 years of economic empowerment through its MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES), MillerCoors has awarded $1.4 million to emerging minority businesses since 1999. Throughout the years, 100 businesses have received grants from the company to either start up or further develop their business.
“Ultimately, our goal is to foster economic growth and to one-day turn many of the businesses that come through the program into minority suppliers for our company,” says Larry Waters, director of multicultural relations for MillerCoors. “MUES is much more than just a hand-out. We track our winners and stay in touch with them to help them grow their enterprises.”
The MUES program launched in 1999 to stimulate economic growth and development in urban communities. The program continues to grow, providing additional Web-based educational resources including Webinars, blogs and business advice from national judges and past winners.
Continuing its commitment to small business development, MillerCoors announced the winners of its 2009-2010 MUES Business Plan Competition. Rising to the top of a highly competitive field were five dynamic businesses, who competed for an opportunity to win a total of $200,000 in business grants. The winners will be honored during a special reception hosted at MillerCoors’ new corporate headquarters in Chicago.
“We are fully invested in helping small businesses succeed, especially given the current economic climate,” explains Waters. “As an industry leader, we recognize that entrepreneurship fuels our economy and ultimately provides economic empowerment and job creation. It is a priority for us to actually provide invaluable resources to urban businesses to help them succeed and not to simply pay lip service.”
“We cannot express how important a program of this type is to helping entrepreneurs get a solid foundation. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the MUES program is phenomenal and speaks volumes to the commitment of MillerCoors,” said eDali Pollard, senior business consultant, Entrepreneurship Center for the Chicago Urban League.
This year’s winners continue the rich legacy of diverse and progressive companies with services ranging from energy audits, custom gaming and advertising, to a shared kitchen and catering service and electronic point-of-sale software.
To acknowledge the 10th anniversary, the top winner received a grant of $100,000, with four runners-up receiving grants of $25,000 each to contribute to either the startup or expansion of their business. The 2009-2010 winners are:
- Rex Wills $100,000 Hi-tek PO – Raleigh, NC
- Di Yonna Mitchell and Yohance Mitchell $25,000 Vision Tutoring – Rex, GA
- Tonya Ojuluwayo $25,000 Splice Kitchen – Chicago, IL
- Joshua Hernandez and Justin Moore $25,000 Tap Me Games (Metamoorephosis) – Chicago, IL
- Karen DaCosta and Malcolm Jackson $25,000 BumbleBee Energy Solutions – Grand Prairie, TX
The new season of the MUES series is set to launch May 1, and will continue its green efforts embarked upon in 2009 with an online entry and judging platform via the program’s Web site.
MillerCoors is proud to acknowledge its longtime national community partnerships with the Atlanta Business League, the Chicago Urban League, the Detroit Urban League, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Dallas, the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas, Recycling Black Dollars of Los Angeles, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Urban League. The MUES program has received the endorsement of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) for the second consecutive year.