SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Have you ever thought about becoming your own boss and starting your own business? Now’s your chance.
“At that time 'Shark Tank’ had become very popular, and one of the things our team at Savannah SCORE was trying to work on very directly was trying to encourage entrepreneurism. Last year we had 29 applications," Chapter President Michael Siegel said. "From that our review committee chose eight finalists. The eight finalists get a chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. They get four minutes. That is timed. Afterwards, the judges get another four minutes to ask questions make comments, and then they deliberate, and the contestants who get the highest score on the ratings sheets become the three winners.”
Each of the three winners is awarded over $10,000 and free professional services to help launch their business in Chatham County. Applicants only have 900 words to share their ideas in hopes of becoming a finalists.
“Your idea needs to be exciting. It needs to be different," Siegel said. "It can’t just be something where I’m going to build on something that already exists. And you have to show that you’ve done some thinking, you’ve done some research, that you have a sense of the market, you have a sense of the competition. And you demonstrate that it can be financially viable.”
The pandemic’s impact on the economy may be scaring some people away who were previously considering starting their own business. However, Siegel says it’s a great time to start planning and taking advantage of the advice SCORE has to offer.
“We tell our clients that while this may be certainly a very challenging time for folks that are already in business, depending on the industry, depending how dependent they are on the factors of the pandemic that are really devastating a small business, this is a fabulous time to plan," Siegel said. "This is a great time to crystallize your idea. It’s a great time to start working on your business plan. And you’ve got to remember the requirement here is if you win, you’ve got another year to open.”
Here are a few requirements to apply:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must promise to locate your business in Chatham County if you win.
- You have to launch your business by January 1, 2022.
Applications will be accepted through midnight on October 5. You’ll have to pay a $25 application fee. SCORE plans to announce the finalists October 14th.
To take a closer look at the rules, guidelines and details, click here.
To apply, click here.