CHICAGO, March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Understanding the importance of small businesses and their contribution to economic development, MillerCoors continues its legacy of support by announcing the 2010-2011 MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) competition winners. MillerCoors established the business grant competition in 1999, and since has awarded over $1.5 million in grants to more than 100 emerging minority businesses.
Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, partners and founders of Back To The Roots, a sustainable company specializing in taking used hops and coffee grounds and turning them into a nutritious and valuable food product - gourmet mushrooms, are the top MUES winners, receiving a grant of $50,000 to expand their business.
"When we walked into that room full of so much experience from every aspect of business imaginable, that helped us to see our business in a different light," explains Alejandro Velez Co-owner of Back to The Roots, LLC and the grand prize grant recipient. "We saw a room full of judges who were industry leaders donating their time and expertise to listen to our business concept and the thought of MillerCoors awarding $50,000 to our business to help support our vision, that's more than financial help; it lifts our morale."
Five businesses were selected as winners of the 2010-2011 MUES Business Plan Competition. The winners will be honored during a special reception hosted at MillerCoors corporate headquarters in Chicago on Tuesday, March 15th.
MillerCoors distributed a total of $150,000 in grants through the MUES 2010-2011 program. The top winner received a grant of $50,000, with four runners-up receiving grants of $25,000 each to contribute to either the start-up or expansion of their business. The 2010-2011 winners are:
- Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora │ $50,000 | Back To The Roots – Oakland, CA
- Quiana Corde │ $25,000 | Barazzo Bags – Atlanta, GA
- Nancy Nkansah, Jeffrey Nkansah and Jesse Cerda │ $25,000 | Ncapsul – Fresno, CA
- Jerome Young │ $25,000 | MBA Power Attract Jobs Now – Sacramento, CA
- Terethia Waller │ $25,000 | The Benson Mills Group – Atlanta, GA
"MillerCoors is proud to help empower and encourage emerging business owners as they pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship," says Larry Waters, vice president of multicultural relations for MillerCoors. "We commend the winners for their hard work and commitment and are excited to see them succeed."
Since its founding, the MUES program has continued to expand and stands as a resource for business owners offering instructional webinars, interactive blogs, solid business counsel from national judges and past winners as well as an extensive social media network that links entrepreneurs and business professionals.
The 2011-2012 MUES program is set to launch July 1, and will continue its green efforts embarked upon in 2009 with an online entry and judging platform via the program's Web site.
MillerCoors is proud to acknowledge its longtime national community partnerships with the following organizations who share information regarding MUES with their members: Atlanta Business League, the Chicago Urban League, the Detroit Urban League, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas, Recycling Black Dollars of Los Angeles, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Urban League, the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The program has also received the endorsement and support of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment. Miller Lite is the great-tasting beer that established the American light beer category in 1975, and Coors Light is the brand that introduced consumers to Rocky Mountain cold refreshment. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light. The company also offers innovative products such as MGD 64, Miller Chill and Sparks. Through MillerCoors new craft and import company, Tenth and Blake, imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch and Molson Canadian and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America by driving profitable industry growth. MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.