Today, Lowe’s and Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and New York Times best-selling author, are announcing the next round of Making It…With Lowe’s, a nationwide pitch program that gives diverse entrepreneurs a chance to take their business to the next level by selling on Lowes.com and in Lowe’s stores nationwide.
Nearly one-third of small businesses in the U.S. were forced to close due to the pandemic, and one-quarter of minority-owned businesses have temporarily shut their doors.1 Although the economy is re-opening, entrepreneurs continue to face extraordinary challenges as they work hard to stabilize their businesses. Lowe’s is bringing back Making It… With Lowe’s at a time when it is needed most, providing opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to grow their businesses amid obstacles that can feel overwhelming.
“Making It…With Lowe’s shines a light on the remarkable stories of diverse small business owners who are often overlooked and underrepresented,” said Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank, entrepreneur and investor who will once again host and lend his expertise to give advice to the program finalists. “Last year’s program underscored the importance of giving them an opportunity to break through traditional processes. This year, as so many diverse small business owners begin the recovery process, it is even more important to provide them with a much-deserved space to succeed.”
The first round of Making It…With Lowe’s attracted more than 1,300 product submissions and the top suppliers received invaluable mentorship from Daymond John and Lowe’s merchants that helped them expand their reach, grow their business and connect with new consumer audiences.
“As a company that began as a single store 100 years ago, we know firsthand how important small businesses are to the communities they serve. Through Making It… With Lowe’s, we can help diverse entrepreneurs reach their dreams of growing and scaling their businesses, all while helping us find innovative, clever and solution-driven products that we’re proud to offer,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Chairman and CEO of Lowe’s. “Making It… With Lowe’s is an extension of our commitment to underserved communities and helps us ensure our products are as diverse as our associates and customers.”
Today through July 30 at midnight PST, applicants are invited to apply at Lowes.com/MakingItWithLowes. Lowe’s especially encourages applicants who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans and women to apply, with innovative products both in and beyond home improvement categories. Hundreds of entrepreneurs will be evaluated for the opportunity to sell their product on Lowes.com, then 75 suppliers will be invited to meet with Lowe’s merchandising teams to be considered for additional promotion. Consumers will be invited to vote for their “fan favorite” among the top 15 suppliers. The field will then narrow to the five top suppliers and the fan favorite, who will pitch their products to Lowe’s executives for an opportunity to receive a truly unique mentorship and land on Lowe’s shelves and Lowes.com to reach millions of customers.
Making It… With Lowe’s is just one part of the company’s efforts to support small businesses, and its overall efforts to increase supplier diversity as part of its Total Home Strategy. Last year, Lowe’s committed $55 million to fund grants for minority- and women-owned small businesses, as well as rural small businesses. Lowe’s and partner LISC distributed these grants to more than 2,700 small businesses, making Lowe’s the largest donor to LISC’s Small Business Relief & Recovery Program and COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.
As part of Lowe’s continued support of small businesses, the company will put the inspiring stories of Making It… With Lowe’s finalists on display during an in-person pitch event at a Charlotte-area Lowe’s store later this year.
Visit Lowes.com/MakingItWithLowes to learn more about the program.
Courtesy of corporate.lowes.com/newsroom