Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn is hoppin’, wins Fort Price Enterprise Plan Competitors

Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn is hoppin’, wins Fort Price Enterprise Plan Competitors

Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn is hoppin’, wins Fort Price Enterprise Plan Competitors

Shalonda and Michael Burnside began their enterprise with a kernel of ardour: inspiring the subsequent technology of aspiring enterprise homeowners. That’s why they based Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn. 

Once they entered a room to develop a marketing strategy and compete with 20 different companies for $10,000, Shalonda stated she felt nervous.

“It began off, truthfully, with me strolling into the room and feeling like, do I belong right here?” she stated. “Like, you already know, is my enterprise one thing that folks will see as you already know, viable and marketable?” 

On Could 11, they acquired their reply. They received the Metropolis of Fort Price’s Enterprise Plan Competitors. 

The competitors pitted 20 companies, 2 to five years previous, in opposition to one another, within the growth of enterprise plans over the course of a number of months. The highest eight finalists pitched to a panel of judges in Thursday’s competitors. 

Now, with a $10,000 money prize, the Burnsides are engaged on increase their web site and wish to companion with colleges and nonprofits. 

Amy Rasor, Fort Price regional director of the Higher Enterprise Bureau and a decide, stated the competitors was fierce. The well-organized plan and a passionate pitch went a good distance for Lil Pop.

“You wish to know that they know what they’re doing on paper,” Rasor stated. “However actually, you bought to see that they’ve that grit and that zeal that’s going to get them by means of being a enterprise proprietor.”

Lil Pops’ brand is a lady with popcorn in her hair. It’s impressed by their daughters. Shalonda Burnside stated the enterprise began when she was struggling to reenter the workforce after having a baby. 

“We determined to start out a enterprise as a result of we didn’t need our daughters to sort of must undergo that in the event that they determined to be stay-at-home mothers,” she stated. 

The Burnsides make their popcorn from their house and supply elements regionally. The Burnsides developed six flavors: turtle pop, cookies and cream, cinnamon churro, crunchy caramel, kettle corn and birthday cake. They companion with native nonprofits to cater popcorn.

Two different companies received money prizes on the competitors.

Luxurious stationery firm Manifest Your Objective received second place and $6,000, and third place went to van life-style producer Knarly Vans, and $4,000. A house inspection enterprise for seniors, Way of life Transitions, received the audience-voted “excellent pitch” prize. 

The entire finalists have entry to a preapproved mortgage from Frost Financial institution, which is an occasion sponsor.

Robert Sturns, Fort Price’s financial growth director, stated that’s a giant deal. Entry to capital is among the greatest challenges of beginning a enterprise. Gaining access to loans is one motive why the town began the CDFI Pleasant program, which goals to extend entry to loans in Fort Price, Sturns stated. 

“Particularly with firms which can be simply beginning out, I imply, you don’t have a observe report,” Sturns stated. “So to go to a financial institution, it’s typically laborious to persuade them … that this isn’t going to be a high-risk factor, that that is one thing that the financial institution ought to put their {dollars} into. In order that’s all the time an issue.”

The marketing strategy competitors is one piece of the town’s efforts to assist small companies and entrepreneurs. Metropolis officers are additionally making an attempt to revamp the Devoyd Jennings Enterprise Help Heart. There are additionally plans within the works to open one other middle devoted to supporting small companies and entrepreneurs within the Close to Southside.

Corporations as much as a 12 months previous accounted for 25,000 Tarrant County jobs in 2020, in response to an annual report from Sparkyard, a corporation that helps entrepreneurship in Fort Price.

Seth Bodine is a enterprise and financial growth reporter for the Fort Price Report. Contact him at [email protected] and observe on Twitter at @sbodine120

On the Fort Price Report, information selections are made independently of our board members and monetary supporters. Learn extra about our editorial independence coverage right here.

Lil Pop Gourmand Popcorn is hoppin’, wins Fort Price Enterprise Plan Competitors

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