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Target Market News has introduced Black Business Chicago, a new monthly which will spotlight news and features on Chicago's African-American businesses, corporate executives and local economic issues. The publication will also be supplemented by a Web site, blackbusinesschicago.com, that will provide updated coverage of relevant business news on a daily and weekly basis between issues of the monthly print publication. Click for more ____________________________________

Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending



The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs contest supports supplier diversity goals

(April 12, 2012) MillerCoors recently granted $125,000 to four small business owners through its MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES). The ultimate goal of the MUES program is to create a pipeline of potential MillerCoors suppliers. Supplier diversity, community investment and economic empowerment are priorities for MillerCoors and the brewer has set a target to cumulatively spend more than $2.5 billion with minority-owned and women-owned suppliers by 2015.

The grand prize winner, Ola Ayeni, CEO of Dining Dialog, which helps food and beverage companies grow their customer base, received a $50,000 investment grant and three runners-up will receive $25,000 each. 

"This is a big step for me and my business," said Ayeni. "This will help me get the resources I need to succeed and one day do the same thing MillerCoors is doing—help other entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life."

"We believe these emerging businesses and the jobs they are creating are the key to growing and developing urban communities across the U.S.," said Larry Waters, Director of Multicultural Relations for MillerCoors. "The entrepreneurs involved in MUES are dynamic and innovative business owners.  Our support and guidance gives them the motivation and resources they need to take their business to new heights." 

A recent study by Hiscox Small Business Insurance reveals that 47% of emerging business owners are optimistic about their growth, with 8% reporting that they plan on hiring new staff for 2012.

The others awardees in this year's MUES program were:

Sulaiman Sanni & Benjamin Lamson ($25,000)  of WeDidIt, Brooklyn, NY. WeDidIt is a web-based, online crowd-funding platform, allowing organizations to raise money, reach new donors and increase their exposure, at a lower cost than any other method in use today.

Roberto Torres, Michael Gil, Luis Montañez, & Christopher Findeisen ($25,000) of Black and Denim Apparel, Tampa, FL.  Black and Denim is an apparel brand with roots in American heritage principles: hard work and functionality where "Made in America" is not a slogan, but a way of business.

Jamien Sills, Gwendolyn Tucker, Ricky Tucker, Tracy Bryant, Christopher Lee ($25,000) of Neimaj in Memphis, TN. Neimaj produces evolutionary footwear for the everyday hero, focusing on 360 degree protection safetywear, as well as ecofriendly footwear without the use harmful chemicals and adhesives.

The business plan competition was established in 1999 as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, create jobs and make a powerful impact in their communities. MUES has awarded nearly $1.7 million in grants to more than 100 emerging businesses and offers fundamental resources for all participating entrepreneurs, including instructional webinars, interactive social media platforms and guidance from some of the leading business minds in the country.

MillerCoors awarded Ayeni a $50,000 grant and three runners-up each received $25,000.  Winners were honored during a special reception at the MillerCoors Corporate Headquarters in Chicago, IL. Co-star of ABC's Shark Tank and founder of FUBU, Daymond John, served as the event's guest speaker, sharing his entrepreneurial experiences.


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