CHICAGO — A local non-profit focused on building wealth in underinvested neighborhoods held a Shark Tank-style event Saturday afternoon, giving business owners the chance to pitch their business plans and possibly go home with thousands of dollars in prize money.
Out of about 50 applicants, ten finalists were picked to pitch their businesses during the annual Sunshine Enterprises Shark Tank Pitch Competition.
During the contest, business owners pitched a plethora of products, ranging from gluten free granola, to gourmet sandwiches, media services and natural hair care ingredients, to name a few.
Each presentation was given five minutes before a panel of judges, where contestants provided details on their products, while judges asked questions.
“They are helping their family immediately and they are providing a resource to their neighborhood,” said Jair Pinedo, Managing Director of Development and Communications with Sunshine Enterprises. “Directly and indirectly, they are helping to destigmatize neighborhoods that have otherwise been disinvested and or stigmatized.”
While top prize will fetch the winner of the competition $11,000, second place will take home $6,000, and third place will receive $4,000.
“It was amazing! Everybody was receptive of what I had to say [and] everybody was receptive of my products,” said Tiffany Joi O’Neal, owner of Hemp Heals Body Shop. “I just look forward to doing more of these pitches and spreading the word about the good benefits of CBD.”