More than 100 people invested in the community of Pontiac at the latest Pontiac SOUP event this past Saturday, March 3. They gathered to choose the winner of the micro-granting contest and dinner. The winner, Young Entrepreneurs Squad Foundation, walked away with $802 to help get their project off the ground.
This was the second Pontiac SOUP event and the first of 2018. The organization, which comes from the original Detroit SOUP concept, plans on carrying out the events four to five times a year from here on out.
“Pontiac SOUP is a beautiful thing because when you are a new organization and don’t have all the funding, every cent helps,” says YES Foundation founder Mary Evans.
YES Foundation offers children ages six to ten years old mentorship services, entrepreneurship training, workforce development, and more. These are real businesses that kids are running, says Evans, ranging in businesses that make and sell ice cream, jewelry, bow ties, and more–and all owned and operated by children in the six to ten age range.
Pontiac SOUP has the stated goal of providing seed funding for organizations doing great work in the city of Pontiac. At the events, four finalists are chosen to present on behalf of their organizations, and the audience participates in a Q&A session with each. The five dollar cover is put toward the cash prize. It’s also a social event, with performances from local artists and a dinner. Attendees then vote on a winner.
The organization also tries to connect the runners-up with resources like business plan counseling and public speaking coaching.
“We’re looking for what makes the greatest impact, to get it off the ground or take a project to the next level,” says Pontiac SOUP co-founder Scott Stewart.
Click HERE to learn more about Pontiac SOUP and its forthcoming events.