Expanding Funding Opportunities For A Vibrant Small Business Community- The Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge Is Back!

Expanding Funding Opportunities For A Vibrant Small Business Community- The Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge Is Back! Main Photo

1 Oct 2021


With a buoyant entrepreneurial spirit and a never-say-die attitude, the small business owners of Midland have been constantly innovating, surfing through both challenges and opportunities with equal aplomb. With more startups in this region than Silicon Valley, the small business ecosystem here has been propelled further since 2017, when the Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge was first launched.
Supporting this effort since its initiation, the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) continues to reinforce its commitment to nurturing small businesses in their journey to success.  Administered by the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB), this year, the MDC will provide $577,677 to the contest, as it seeks to support new businesses, through an intensive process of business plan creation, financial training, and market research. 

Business Coaching And Support

A business that wishes to compete in the challenge will be guided through an orientation process, business coaching, and executive support. Up to 8 business owners will then be chosen by a panel of independent judges. The winners will receive funding, of up to $100,000 from the total available award money. Each entrepreneur who enters the contest will emerge, with a better understanding of how to develop and follow a carefully thought-out business plan and model to ensure a successful business. 

Big Benefits To Small Businesses

Past winners of the challenge have benefited immensely from the whole experience. John Norman, who founded Norman Elite, an athletic training organization that trains children in the ages of 8-18 in a variety of sports, won the challenge in 2018. He says, “ The most helpful part is how the administrators walked us through the different steps of how to prepare a business plan, etc. It allowed us to learn how small businesses operate and how to acquire money to operate a business. I am confident that the tools provided have allowed us to continue to operate and survive, even in times of a pandemic like the one we're facing now.”

The Challenge: Promoting Business Expansion And Job Creation

G.Ryan Peckham, Assistant Professor and Roden Fellow of Entrepreneurship at UTPB, specifies that the true value of the competition is helping business owners improve their business through education.  “Besides the seed money at the end of the contest, the real benefit to most who embark on this journey is that it acts like an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp.  Contestants come to several seminars throughout the program and learn skills that are vital to all small businesses.  We have seminars on putting together a business plan, business fact sheet, taxation, marketing, QuickBooks, and how to pitch your business.  We also have a lender day where we have a panel of bankers that discuss what it takes to be "loan ready" and how to get your business there.  The seminars are offered at night so that it reduces the impact to the business owner and allows them to work on their business during the day.”

Promoting business expansion and job creation through an established business climate and a strong community, the Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge fosters enterprise and innovation, helping to grow Midland’s economic stability and quality of life.

Participating businesses must be located in Midland, Texas. For more information and the registration form visit https://midlandentrepreneurialchallenge.com/.  You can email midlandchallenge@utpb.edu with any questions.