At an event celebrating the winner of BBVA Momentum 2018 last night, BBVA Compass executives announced the opening for 2019 Momentum applications, as well as a second opportunity for entrepreneurs to win up to $60,000 for their businesses, called the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest presented by BBVA Compass and The Business Journals.
BBVA Compass Executive Director of the Business Banking Segment Elizabeth Dobers said the two programs, combined with the recently announced Houston Rockets Launchpad, signal the bank’s intention to become the bank for entrepreneurs, demonstrating ongoing support for the small businesses that are the lifeblood of the communities where it operates.
When a small business wins, we all win.
“With BBVA Momentum, we’ve seen firsthand the power that small businesses have in our local communities to create change and we believe there is no better way to live our purpose of creating opportunities than to support them,” Dobers said. “When a small business wins, we all win, from the city where they are growing their business, to the people living in and around the community. It's why we launched BBVA Momentum in the U.S. two years ago and have expanded our efforts this year with the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest.”
Program No. 1: BBVA Momentum
BBVA Momentum has been operating since 2011 in other countries throughout the global footprint of BBVA, the Madrid-based bank, but 2017 marked its first foray into the U.S. Tailored for social entrepreneurs - those whose business aims to solve social problems - BBVA Momentum seeks to help participating companies scale up and make a positive impact on the lives of more people.
As part of the program, participants are given access to online and in-person training, strategic mentorship and support, networking opportunities and visibility over the course of five months. The online component is provided by Corporate Learning Alliance, a partnership between IE Business School and the Financial Times, while the face-to-face training is conducted by the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
Each social entrepreneur is paired with a mentor from BBVA Compass to provide one-on-one support for the entirety of the program. At the end of the program, BBVA Compass awards prizes to participant enterprises considered most sustainable and with the highest social impact. In addition, winners may be eligible to receive further investment opportunities, including capital to implement the growth plans developed during the program.
In 2017, Chad Houser of Dallas-based Café Momentum, a restaurant training platform for juvenile offenders, achieved top honors. In 2018, On the Road Lending, also based in Dallas, took home the $75,000 prize. On the Road Lending finances fuel-efficient and reliable cars, under warranty, for lower-skilled workers with weak credit.
Applications to participate in the 2019 edition of BBVA Momentum open late February and close on April 22 with final selection announced in May. Social entrepreneurs based in BBVA Compass’ seven-state footprint with an interest in participating should go to www.momentum.bbva.com when applications officially open to apply.
Program No. 2: Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year
New for 2019, BBVA Compass is teaming up with The Business Journals to present the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest.
The contest is being held in six markets and gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their innovative business idea for a chance to win up to $60,000. Interested businesses must demonstrate how they are innovating to create opportunities for their clients and market, whether through disruptive technology, a new product, service or business model creation or serving customers in new and different ways.
After entering via the Business Journals’ website, five finalists will be selected by online vote in each area were the contest is being held. Those finalists will pitch their business at a Business Journals event where a panel of judges, including BBVA Compass spokesperson and self-made entrepreneur Sandra Lee, will select one winner from the market. That business will be awarded $10,000 and an opportunity to compete for $50,000 at the final event in Nashville, Tenn.
The contest is open to small business owners that have been established for a minimum of two years as of the date of entry and have at least $1 million in annual revenue. For more information on the contest and how it works, click on any of the links below:
We want to emphasize these areas.
“We are excited about these opportunities for entrepreneurs in these markets, and excited to support them as they move forward with their businesses,” Dobers said. “That they focus on two areas of major importance to BBVA Compass - social responsibility and innovation - is by design. We want to emphasize these areas in order to continue our efforts as a bank to create unique and impactful opportunities for the people in our communities.”
To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit: www.bbvacompass.com.