Win Cold, Hard Start-up Cash for Your Business Idea


You know those “I’m a genius!” business ideas that you’re always jotting down? The ones you’re convinced will be your ticket to greener pastures? It’s time to dust them off. Brooklyn Public Library’s annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition is back for its tenth year, which means you’re this close to finally bringing your business dreams to life.

Since 2003, PowerUP! has been helping Brooklyn entrepreneurs build businesses and realize long-held dreams. In addition to workshops to help you figure out what you need to get your business started, the Library gives you access to a ton of resources so you can write that business plan, develop a marketing strategy for your idea or product and find elusive financing. And to aim you in the right direction, you’ll meet for free with a business counselor who helps keep your mission on track.

The best part? Cold, hard start-up cash. This is a competition, after all. Write the best business plan, win the top prize of $15,000. Simple! Courtesy of Citi Foundation, more than $250,000 has been awarded to winners in the past decade.

PowerUP! alumni include Common Grounds in Bedford-Stuyvesant,Crown Heights’ Syd’s Serious Sandwich Shop and Argyle Yarn Shop in Windsor Terrace. Borough mainstays like Bogota Bistro and Greenlight Bookstore are also previous competition winners who launched their businesses thanks to the Library. How’s that for some inspiration?

To participate, you must have a library card and attend an orientation session. Sign up online for one of the five sessions still remaining at branches across Brooklyn. Check out the Brooklyn Public Library website for more details, and remember to register—you might not get a better chance to build your business.

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