Entries are now being accepted for the second HI-HERImpact Miami Virtual Pitch Competition, which will be held online on Oct. 15, Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures announced this week.

Female social entrepreneurs from Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties are invited to submit proposals, and those chosen will compete in the ‘Shark Tank’-style competition to win a total of $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind support for their businesses.

Proposals are being accepted online here. The deadline to submit is midnight Sept. 20. To be considered, proposals must address three criteria: the business or social enterprise must exist to solve a real community problem; have a business model that will ultimately be sustainable; and focus on a product or service people will pay for.

“Now more than ever, we must support women-owned businesses that aim to improve their communities and help rebuild the economy,” said Yisel Cabrera, manager, Ford Motor Company Fund, in making the announcement.  “In our first HI-HERImpact pitch competition held this past spring, we saw a lot of promising businesses that can provide immediate impact in South Florida. We look forward to once again providing capital and helping a new group of businesses thrive.”

Ford Motor Company Fund – Ford’s philanthropic arm – and 1863 Ventures announced the Call for Papers at the end of the August 4-6 HI-HERImpact Virtual Entrepreneurship Summit, which included talks and panel discussions about social impact, fund-raising, opportunity zones and more, as well as a session by past HERImpact winners.

Earlier this year, due to COVID-19, the inaugural HI-HERImpact Miami Pitch Competition shifted from an in-person event to a virtual one. $50,000 in case prizes was awarded to three South Floridian winners: Lifetime Omics’ Patricia Buendia, who is utilizing cutting-edge biotechnology methods to improve health and wellbeing; Equality Lab’s Alexandra Ivanovitch, who is using cutting-edge virtual reality technology to benefit seniors; and EcoRenew’s Vanessa Pierre, who is supporting environmental upkeep of Haiti by re/up-cycling post-consumer and industrial goods. You can read more about the winners here.

Of course, the virtual event will be free to attend and cheer on your favorite contenders.

Since launching the HI-HERImpact initiative in 2017, Ford Fund has invested $250,000 in women-led social enterprises and helped more than 500 social entrepreneurs increase their capacity through workshops, webinars, coaching, mentoring and access to other resources in Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

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Nancy Dahlberg
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