Duke Energy donates to Small Business Pitch Contest at BCCC

Published 10:34 am Friday, September 8, 2023

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WASHINGTON, N.C.— Beaufort County Community College is giving future or current entrepreneurs a chance to learn free skills and compete for start-up funds through its Small Business Center’s “Seed and Sow” program. Duke Energy donated $7,500 to support the contest. The learning and planning process will culminate in a pitch contest where qualifying entrepreneurs compete to win cash awards to help fund their small business startup or expansion idea. Each of the ten contest winners will be granted $2,500 each. This partnership aims to empower local entrepreneurs by providing startup funds and resources through a competitive platform, thereby promoting economic vitality and innovation in the region.

The “Seed and Sow” program offers aspiring or expanding small business owners the opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas and business plans in a competitive environment. This process will foster learning, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and healthy competition in a positive and encouraging environment. Most importantly, winners can leave with the “seed” to plant, grow, and flourish in our local communities to the benefit of all. This contest is only open to businesses in Beaufort, Hyde, Washington, and Tyrrell Counties.
All donated funds will be used to provide startup grants to the winners of the competition, enabling them to turn their business concepts into reality. By attending workshops through the Small Business Center, even businesses that are not among the ten winners can move forward with their plans with the confidence and knowledge needed to succeed in the competitive business landscape.

Jack Dugan, director of BCCC’s Small Business Center director, said, “We are thrilled to have Duke Energy as a key supporter of our ‘Seed and Sow’ program. Their generous donation will directly impact the lives of local entrepreneurs and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our community. This partnership exemplifies the positive outcomes that can be achieved when the private sector and educational institutions collaborate to nurture talent and innovation.”

The application process for the “Seed and Sow” Small Business Competition is open now. The pitch contest will not take place until April 2024, but required workshops run through fall and winter 2023. Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in participating are encouraged to contact Jack Dugan, BCCC Small Business Center director at (252) 940-6306 for more information about eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and competition details.
Duke Energy’s commitment to community development and fostering local entrepreneurship continues to make a meaningful impact across the region. Through collaborations like the “Seed and Sow” Small Business Competition, Duke Energy reinforces its dedication to empowering communities and creating a brighter future for all.