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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

It’s The Last Day For Small Businesses To Apply For $25,000 In Cash Prizes Through South Side Pitch

Eligible businesses must be for-profit, independent and based south of Roosevelt Road. First prize is $10,000 at October's event, while second- through fifth-place winners and the audience's favorite also receive cash.

Augustine (left) and Sylvia Emuwa of Dinobi Detergent present at the South Side Pitch competition in October 2019. The married couple's cleaning supplies company won the $5,000 first prize to expand their line of products and improve their website.
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HYDE PARK — South Side small businesses and entrepreneurs have until the end of Monday to apply for a pitch competition hosted by a local business advocacy group offering a $10,000 grand prize.

Applications for the South Side Pitch competition, organized by the Institute for Justice’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship, close 11:59 p.m. Monday.

To apply for this year’s South Side Pitch, click here. Eligibility and contest rules are available through the event’s website.

Eligible businesses must be a for-profit, independent company with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses must be based south of Roosevelt Road and must already have started serving customers, according to the competition rules.

Judges will select “businesses that can demonstrate a positive contribution to an individual life, community, or industry,” like bringing jobs or needed services to the applicant’s neighborhood.

Creativity in the business plan, solid plans for investing the prize into the business and “deep roots” on the South Side are also among the competition’s criteria.

“it is important that you explain why and how the cash prize would help your business and exhibit showmanship when delivering your pitch,” the organizers said.

Clients of the IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship and past South Side Pitch finalists are ineligible.

Semifinalists will be chosen in September, and finalists will be selected in October to receive coaching ahead of the South Side Pitch event. Finalists will compete at South Side Pitch Oct. 20 at the Polsky Center, 1452 E. 53rd St. in Hyde Park.

First place receives $10,000, second place gets $7,000, third place gets $5,000, fourth place receives $3,000 and fifth place receives $1,000. The audience’s top choice will get $1,000 regardless of the overall results.

Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness in South Shore won 2021’s grand prize; an online directory of Black-owned businesses, The Black Mall, won in 2020; and cleaning supplies company Dinobi Detergent won in 2019.

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