Pictured above: (L-R) Christy Hare with Mitchell Community College; Donna Lamberth (3rd place); Tracy Alston (1st place); Sarah Fisher (2nd place); Suzanne Wallace, director of the Small Business Center at Mitchell Community College – Picture courtesy of Mitchell Community College
Statesville, NC – Members of the business community and faculty and staff of Mitchell Community College joined a group of community members Wednesday to award winners of the 2018 Wells Fargo Business Plan Competition with nearly $7,000 in prize money. The competition, which included weekly courses aimed at helping participants learn more about building effective businesses, was sponsored by the Wells Fargo Community Foundation.
Seventeen participants attended the program, which stretched across several months, and seven finished and submitted business plans for consideration. The plans consisted of business proposals in several sectors.
The competition’s top prize was awarded to Tracy Alston, founder of Mental Edge Fitness Solutions, a Mooresville company that works with individuals, corporate teams, and other groups to evaluate and enhance mental fitness. Alston, who launched her business in January, won a $5,000 prize to help capitalize her company. Alston credited the competition’s curriculum and speakers for helping her write a strong plan for her business. “This program was the best—and it came at the perfect time for me.”
Other winners included Sarah Fisher, who took home the second place prize of $1,000 for her company Tasty Town USA, and Donna Lamberth, who won third place and a prize of $750 to support the expansion of Donna’s Pest Control.
“Writing a business plan is like charting a map,” said Suzanne Wallace, director of the Small Business Center at Mitchell Community College. “You have a clear idea of where you’re going, but the trick is finding the fastest, most efficient pathway there.” Wallace plans to continue meeting each month with the group of entrepreneurs to support them as they grow their businesses. In addition to generous funding from the Wells Fargo Community Foundation, she noted that Mitchell alumnus and local business owner Keith King was so inspired by the participant’s determination that he stepped in to fund part of the prize pool.
The Small Business Center at Mitchell Community College is part of the statewide Small Business Center Network, a community college-funded initiative with a vision to foster and support entrepreneurship, small business, and economic development in local communities across the state.
Mitchell Community College serves 10,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area. For more information, visit www.mitchellcc.edu or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus).
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