According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minority-owned businesses have increased nearly 50 percent since 2000, fully twice the rate of all U.S. businesses. More significantly, urban entrepreneurs, who now employ some 5.9 million workers, are leading the way in job creation and helping to rebuild the economy.

To salute these urban entrepreneurs, MillerCoors has declared August 1 through 5, “National Urban Entrepreneurs Week.” The company has also launched a call-for-entries for the annual MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series (MUES) and Business Plan Competition.

Now in its 12th year, the MUES program provides small business owners the unique opportunity to compete for a total of $150,000 in business grants. Since the program’s creation in 1999, MillerCoors has awarded more than $1.7 million dollars to small businesses.

This year, during “National Urban Entrepreneurs Week,” the MUES competition will provide entrepreneurs with several tools and information on how to build theirs businesses:

  • On Monday, August 1, MUES hosted a Twitter party, “Putting a Brilliant Idea to Paper: How to Create an Award-Winning Business Plan” with Black Enterprise senior vice president/editor-at-large, Alfred J. Edmonds, Jr. Tweeters will have the opportunity to register for the hour long party where, using the hashtag, “#MUES,” they can ask Edmonds questions via Twitter about their business plans and win prizes for their participation.
  • On Wednesday, August 3, the webinar, “How to Write a Business Plan,” was distributed to business bloggers as a resource for their visitors.
  • Throughout the week, the competition will host a national radio media tour with 2011 MUES grand-prize winners, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora of BTTR Ventures. Velez and Arora will inform listeners of their MUES experience and provide tips on developing and submitting a strong business plan.

The owners of BTTR Ventures entered the business plan competition after first losing in 2009. They took the feedback they received from the judges, along with the resources on the MUES Web site, re-entered the competition in 2010 and walked away with the top prize of $50,000. “With this grant, we were able to move from a 1,200 sq. ft. warehouse to a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse, and produce more product than we ever thought possible,” says co-owner, Arora.

This year’s top winner will be awarded a $50,000 grant, and four other top finalists will each receive $25,000 grants. Competitors also have the opportunity to become a potential qualified MillerCoors supplier. The MUES competition is open to participants who are age 21 and older. All entries must be submitted to by Monday, October 3, 2011 at noon (CST).

Several business organizations support the MUES program, including the Atlanta Business League, the Chicago Urban League, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Dallas, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and additional local chambers and chapters of the Urban League.

For more information, helpful resources for developing a business plan as well as the official rules and requirements of the MUES Business Plan Competition, visit

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