Bob Evans Farms is again offering $25,000 grants and mentoring sessions to veteran-owned businesses.
The second annual “Our Farm Salutes” grant-giving program, “Heroes to CEOs,” will open for applications on May 22. The contest runs through July 29.
Each of the three veteran-owned businesses will be awarded grants of $25,000 as well as an all-expenses-paid, three-day trip for two to New York City for a half-day mentoring session with businessman Daymond John.
“As we saw last year with our amazing winners, veterans have innovative ideas but sometimes have trouble getting started,” said Mike Townsley, CEO and president, Bob Evans Farms, in a release. “Learning how to run a business and securing the required financing can be a challenge. We’re beyond proud of what veterans accomplish.”
In addition to receiving the grant last year, the 2017 Heroes to CEOs winners are being showcased on Bob Evans Farms product packaging throughout the summer. Each winner is highlighted on the back of the product packaging, including a photo and brief description of their business.
Bob Evans believes the grant contest is the largest veterans-only business grant and is open to veterans of all U.S. military branches who own an independent registered business or have a plan for an independent business in the United States or the District of Columbia. Nonprofits are also eligible for the grant.
In order to have their business considered, veteran entrepreneurs are required to submit a plan demonstrating a solid business concept, multimedia assets in a video format, and a personal essay about their passion for their business. Veterans can learn more about the program and register at www.ourfarmsalutes.com.
A panel of judges will score each eligible entry based on reason, presentation, feasibility, opportunity and future success of the business or plan submitted. The top 10 highest-scoring entrants will be deemed finalists, who will then be judged by a panel of celebrity judges — including last year’s grant winners — who will score the finalists’ entries based on the same criteria. Winners will be announced on Sept. 5 and invited to an awards ceremony on Sept. 6 at Blueprint in New York City.
Bob Evans Farms launched the Our Farm Salutes program in 2016 as a commitment to support America’s service members, veterans and their families through awareness, donations, strategic partnerships, grant opportunities and volunteerism.