The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network at the Northern Marianas College announced today that it is postponing its SEED to Sail (Supporting Entrepreneurship and Economic Development) program and event, scheduled for this evening, Sept. 16, to accommodate an additional category to allow existing businesses to participate.
To better serve the community, the organizing committee decided to expand the SEED to Sail program to include a new category of competition to include businesses that have been in operation for more than a year to compete and present their ideas.
The SEED to Sail competition invites business owners to submit proposals for business or product ideas that meet the current needs within the product and/or service industry. In addition, submissons will be judged on uniqueness and innovation, relevant business experience, measurable expected results within the year following the awarding of funds, and why their business should be considered. Winners will receive “seed money” to fund their ventures.
The SBDC noted that after much deliberation between the CNMI SBDC Network management, the Northern Marianas College leadership, and with guidance from the University of Guam administration and the UOG Masters in Public Administration program cohort, the SEED to Sail organizing committee decided to postpone this evening’s event to allow appropriate time to add the new category.
“We received 36 applications for the SEED to Sail competition within a short time," Nadine Deleon Guerrero, Network Director of the SBDCN said.
"It was evident to the committee that there was a need to service the CNMI’s young and budding entrepreneurs’ interests in becoming business owners. This process brought to the forefront that business owners in operation for more than a year also had needs and innovative ideas for expansion that deserved to be afforded the same opportunity.”
The organizing committee will be solidifying a new event date, and official requirements and details for the application process for the new category -- businesses in operation for more than a year -- will be released early next week.
CNMI SBDCN confirmed that competitors who qualified in the first round of applications in the original category will maintain their finalist standing. The application process for the original category remains closed.
“The SBDCN is committed to delivering a truly memorable event that will provide an opportunity of a lifetime to its award winners. On behalf of the SEED to Sail organizing committee, we extend our appreciation to the event sponsors, donors, dignitaries, partners, the media, contestants, and the community, who have supported the event," Deleon Guerrero said.
About the CNMI SBDCN
The goals and priorities of the CNMI SBDCN are to develop emerging entrepreneurs while providing technical assistance and training opportunities for existing businesses that need guidance at no cost to them.
In 2022, the CNMI SBDCN was afforded the opportunity through the unwavering support of the Northern Marianas College, the Torres Administration, the hard work of our U. S. Congressman Gregorio "Kilili" Sablan, and its predecessors to establish and develop the CNMI’s SBDC Network and Lead Center in the Commonwealth. The SBDCN generates programs and provides avenues to serve the business community, help local businesses succeed, and grow the CNMI’s economy.