Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s Million Dollar Challenge awards $ 1.2 million to minority entrepreneurs

Five entrepreneurs are now receiving financial support for their businesses through a group called Meda.

According to PR Newswire, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s Million Dollar Challenge – the country’s largest entrepreneurial competition for Blacks, Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC) – announced the winners of the fourth annual competition where five companies were awarded $ 1.2 million in financial support. .

The Metropolitan Economic Development Association was founded by a group of Minnesota business leaders who want to help minority entrepreneurs succeed. The group works to tackle inequalities within the state’s minority communities.

The group states: “Meda operates a growing community development fund (CDFI) institution that provides the necessary capital for BIPOC companies to become sustainable. Since its inception, it has helped launch over 500 BIPOC businesses and assisted over 23,000 BIPOC entrepreneurs in Minnesota.

The competition involved nearly 200 companies in the United States, of which only 12 took part in the Bootcamp for Successful Pitchs in which they competed in front of 40 judges. Over the past three years, 18 BIPOC companies have received nearly $ 4 million in funding.

“We have had an incredible number of remarkable companies participating in the Meda Million Dollar Challenge this year, leaving us all impressed and inspired,” said the CEO of Meda, Alfredo Martel, in an official press release. “As we continue to navigate beyond the pandemic into the new economy, the innovation and dedication of these entrepreneurs gives me hope for the impact they will have on the economy and their community.”

The Million Dollar Challenge is Meda’s vehicle to raise awareness of the lack of funding and resources faced by many BIPOC entrepreneurs. Research suggests that lack of capital and racial discrimination lead to an uneven playing field between BIPOC entrepreneurs and their non-BIPOC counterparts.

Four of the five businesses were owned by women and three of them were owned by blacks. Here are the winners:

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