Contestants battle for a $1,000 business starting bid

Tyler Moseberry, Courier Staff

The Western Small Business Development Center or SBDC is holding a pitch competition April 8, which will mark the beginning of the end of this three-part competition. This competition has brought out the best in the students that will be representing themselves and the most of what the SBDC has to offer.

The first phase is the application. When applying, applicants must decide whether they are a small business or an entrepreneur. An applicant’s decision will shape the rest of their presentation and speech when the time comes to presenting their pitch. Now what makes a small business? What makes an entrepreneur? Both may seem similar but are in fact different by motivation. The beginning process has students filling out information about the venue ideas, business names, need and story of what it is they’re trying to promote.

In these stories, an applicant needs to decide what route they are going to take, either the small business or the entrepreneur approach. Both are formidable titles but require extreme discipline, which is why it’s important to understand an applicant’s stance.

An entrepreneur is a person who looks to turn a profit; in short the type of people we see getting rich quick. While a small business person is more involved and dedicated to the idea and makes the business their livelihood.

Both can start out the same, but the purpose is different. A small business person typically will live their brand, while an entrepreneur is enticed by the acquisition of money for their brand.

The competition is judged and although pity stories are not going to win, it holds more weight than someone bent on money. After the applications are done and submitted the workshops begin. The remaining applicants attend and learn more information before the competition begins.

In the workshop, applicants will cover topics like choosing business names, types of business ownership, licenses and permits, obtaining a tax ID number, business bank accounts, insurance and taxes with basic record keeping.

All these topics discussed in the workshop will help applicants bridge the gap of what they already know and what they need to know to succeed in the world of business.

With the workshop in place no one can claim that the competition is selective, since everyone is learning the same material. To add to the transparency of the competition it is only available to Western students.

Withholding applicants that are not Western students encourages students to apply and really go for it in the competition, since older and more experienced people can overshadow or discourage students altogether.

During the competition itself, a venue and time will be set so the applicants can present their ideas with all the information they have gathered so far. The only thing left for the competitors to do after they have applied and taken the workshop courses, is present themselves in a confident way by communicating their idea to an audience and most importantly the judges. Anyone who applies is one step closer to turning their business dream into a cash reward of $1000.