MillerCoors granted $125,000 to four small business owners through its MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES). 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.”
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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. The brewer has set a target to cumulatively spend more than $2.5 billion with minority-owned and women-owned suppliers by 2015.
“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.
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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 on Thursday, March 8, 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.
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of beer brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
In the picture above: (from left) Benjamin Lamson, WeDidIt; Larry Waters, Director of Multicultural Relations for MillerCoors; Sulamain Sanni, WeDidIt; Luis Montanes, Black and Denim; Ola Ayeni, Dining Dialog; Joanne Tabellija-Murphy, Multicultural Relations Manager for MillerCoors; Roberto Torres, Black and Denim; Daymond John, ABC’s Shark Tank; Jamien Sills, Neimaj.