Awarding brilliant businesses ideas

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The American Entrepreneurship Award was born out of the Libra Group’s commitment to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) and will initially focus on two communities which we believe face disproportionate lack of opportunity compared with other parts of the USA. They are Miami-Dade County, Florida, and the Bronx, New York City. We also want to encourage participation and to inspire hope, both among both first-time entrepreneurs and small business owners who are seeking support for a new commercial venture or new business idea.

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FUNDING, BUSINESS SUPPORT AND AN EXPERT MENTOR

The American Entrepreneurship Award was launched in 2015 as an annual award with a $500,000 funding commitment. Each year, the Panel of Judges will select one business venture or idea from each of the localities identified that demonstrates the best in community entrepreneurship. The prizes will give the winning businesses everything they need to get off to a flying start: a range of support services including the provision of an expert mentor, plus straightforward funding with no charges, no interest and no complexity. We want to make the award as open and inclusive as possible so whether you are a private individual with no experience but have a great new business idea or an established business with an all new concept, you can qualify for an award. All we ask is that revenue and jobs arising from the business be focused primarily in Miami-Dade County or the Bronx.

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ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS

Applications for the 2016 Award are now closed. In June 2016, four winners and two runner-ups were announced based on careful scrutiny of the merits of each application. The winning businesses received a share of $125,000 in funding. Business support services offered to winners includes legal, accounting, communications and IT consultancy. Each winner was assigned a mentor who provides advice and guidance throughout every stage of the start-up process. Support and mentoring for winners are provided by key executives from the Libra Group’s global businesses and other AEA partner organizations.

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HOW IT WORKS

Application for the award couldn’t be simpler: everything can be done online via this website. All you need to do is to register and you can then access your personal application ‘dashboard’ as many times as you like, building and refining your application until ready to submit your entry. The application accommodates a limited number of additional supporting attachments (photos, diagrams, spreadsheets etc). The online application area is a secure environment and details of your business plan will not be shared with any third parties. Even if you reach the final shortlist, no details of your business idea will be published without your prior consent. For full Terms and Conditions of the award program, please click here.

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Mentoring and Business Support

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Mentors are highly experienced business professionals assigned from one of the Libra Group’s global businesses and AEA partner organizations. Each mentor is assigned according to their industry experience and relevance to the business idea or venture and will be required to provide advice and support spanning the main aspects of the business start-up cycle. Each winner will also have a minimum of 12 months’ access to consultancy support from Libra’s specialist in-house teams covering:

• Legal, including assistance with incorporation for new companies
• Accounting
• IT and telecoms
• Communications (branding, marketing, CRM, advertising, public relations, literature etc.)
• Finally, and subject to availability, temporary office space may be provided to each winner.

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WHO IS BEHIND THE AWARD?

The American Entrepreneurship Award is funded and administered by the Libra Group, an international business group comprising 30 subsidiaries active across six continents. The group has principal operations in shipping, aviation, real estate, hospitality and energy as well as a range of selected ‘diversified investments’. The group’s Social Responsibility division undertakes numerous education, entrepreneurship and philanthropic initiatives globally including the Libra Internship Program which embraces around 120 young people per year, many of whom come from communities exhibiting opportunity and achievement gaps. The Libra Group is owned by the Logothetis family.

For more information, please visit www.libra.com

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ABOUT THE AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD

The American Entrepreneurship Award is inspired by the My Brother Keeper’s Alliance (MBKA), a non-profit organization founded and launched by President Barack Obama in 2015 with the aim of eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps for boys and young men of color. The Libra Group is a founding sponsor of the initiative and is proud to make a contribution to society and entrepreneurship in such a tangible way through this partnership with the MBKA.

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ABOUT OUR SISTER AWARD PROGRAM IN GREECE

The Libra Group has considerable experience of operating an entrepreneurship award among a community facing challenges. In 2012 we founded the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, born out of a belief that Greece’s economic malaise should not deter those with an idea worth pursuing. We were also motivated by our faith in the underlying strength and quality of Greece’s ‘human capital’. The award just completed its fourth year of operation and has already declared 14 winners across diverse business sectors. Together these businesses have created many hundreds of jobs and are making a direct contribution to Greece’s economy. See www.hellenicaward.com.

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