Lowe’s just announced a partnership with Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank” to change the narrative when it comes to minority entrepreneurs and big corporate brands, according to CNN.
Minority entrepreneurs and other owners of diverse small businesses can apply for a chance to win shelf space and pitch their products to the home improvement giant’s executives.
Per Lowe’s, a diverse small business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by veterans, women, minorities, or those who are LGBTQ.
With the help of John, who is also the founder of hip-hop apparel company FUBU, the company’s idea is to let these business owners make their case directly to Lowe’s executives and help streamline the process.
“Lowe’s is giving these minority-owned businesses a much-deserved chance to shine while uncovering unique, smart products that will make Lowe’s shelves even more appealing to customers,” said John.
John shares that it normally takes years for a business to get its products in front of key executives at a big retailer.
“The best thing about this that unlike on Shark Tank, you’re pitching directly to [Lowe’s] executives,” he said. “They’re not trying to be like Kevin O’Leary and get a royalty for life [by taking stake in your company.]”
If you’re wondering what exactly the company is looking for, we’ve got you covered.
“The company says it’s looking for startup suppliers of both traditional and non-traditional home improvement products, including farm equipment, antimicrobial protection, innovations for accessible living, home gardening, and home décor,” according to CNN Business.
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner who fits the criteria, you can apply between September 15 and September 25. From those applicants, Lowe’s will select up to 375 businesses for consideration and placement of their products whether it be in-store or online.
Next, the company will select 75 applicants to take things a step further by submitting their stories by video with the possibility of receiving mentoring or marketing assistance.
Lastly, according to CNN Business, five remaining contestants will be invited to a one-day virtual pitch challenge by John. He will also mentor the finalists prior to them making their presentation to Lowe’s CEO Marvin R. Ellison and other executives.
The winner of the challenge is set to receive the most strategic placement of its products at the home improvement retailer and the most marketing help.
You can find the finalists on Lowes.com later this year.