When Wally Amos founded Famous Amos Cookies in 1975, he was navigating one of the most challenging times of his life. Newly divorced and struggling with the tides of pursuing Hollywood success, he went on to find major success in sweet treats.
However, his success was not a solo effort. With early backing from celebrities like Marvin Gaye, Amos was able to sell approximately $300,000 worth of cookies in his inaugural year. The cookie brand is now paying it forward with the second round of entrepreneurial grants.
In a May 19 press release, Famous Amos announced a partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce to launch the second cycle of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative.
The entrepreneurial program is designed to offer grants and mentorship as essential tools and resources to assist Black business owners. Participants will engage in a pitch contest that provides a high-level overview of their business, why it will become a successful enterprise, and how awarded funds will be used for long-term stability.
The initiative will award a total of $150,000 across three rewards. Each selected business owner will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funding. The funds will come with coaching and mentoring resources through the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
“We established the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative to support Black businesses and to honor the legacy of the brand’s founder, Mr. Wally Amos,” said Rachna Patel, Senior Director of Marketing for Famous Amos. “In addition to the grants Famous Amos awards, we feel it is equally important to offer resources such as mentorship, coaching, and networking, which are provided by our community partner, the National Black Chamber of Commerce.”
Applicants will be narrowed down to 10 finalists. Of the final ten, three will be granted awards as selected by a curated panel of Black business leaders, including Mandy Bowman, Founder of Official Black Wall Street; Steve Canal, CEO of Flourysh; Roby Mercharles, VP of Partnerships at The American Dream Fund & Marketplace; and Nancey Harris and Tracy Green, Co-Founders of Vontelle, LLC.
Qualified business owners should have five years of operational experience under their belt and should apply by June 25 by visiting here.