The Small Business Administration and Retail MBA™ Unveils a New Program That Helps Women and Minority Owned Businesses Get Products into Chain Store Retailers
Retail MBA™ has partnered with programs funded by the Small Business Administration (BEC and SBDC), to pilot a CA state-wide retail vendor training program for women and minority owned businesses. The purpose of this new Retail Vendor Program is to help women and minority owned businesses understand the necessary requirements needed to win chain store business as well as to help prepare them to become actual chain store vendors.
Karen Waksman, Founder of Retail MBA™ explains, “Retailers typically do not have time to train these women and minority owned product businesses on the nuances of becoming ‘chain store ready.’ And we believe that if we help these companies prepare, lives will be changed. Additionally, retailers will have streamlined access to suppliers that reflects our increasingly diverse marketplace- this is essential to our nation’s economic growth and will also ultimately help retailers align with their growing diverse customer base.”
How the Retail Vendor Program Works:
1. Participants will receive extensive training on how to become a chain store vendor (see Retail MBA syllabus below for details on the program) as well as monthly Q&A calls and a final product review from a retail expert to ensure that participants are ready for chain store business
2. In addition, participants will be assigned a business consultant from the Small Business Development Center to become women and/or minority owned certified as well as get additional support in funding and overall business strategy.
3. Once the Retail Vendor Program is completed, participants will be able to have their products reviewed by retailers such as 7-Eleven, Bed Bath and Beyond, Whole Foods, etc. Retailers included in the Retail Vendor Program have all agreed to review products by certified participants.
In order to have products reviewed by these retailers, participants must have completed the Retail Vendor Program, become women and minority owned business certified and receive a product review from a retail expert and adjust their product accordingly if products are not deemed ‘chain store ready.’
All submissions to retailers will be sent once a month through the Retail MBA™ system (so that the participating retailers will not get inundated with submissions). And although there are no guarantees of becoming a chain store vendor through the Retail Vendor Program, participants will receive invaluable training and support which will ultimately help them with their business.
Cost for Retail Vendor Program:
$495. Cost includes online access to the Retail MBA Program (extensive retail vendor training), monthly Q&A calls and one chain store pitch review from a retail expert, access to participating chain store retailers and SBA support! However, participants are responsible for all other costs related to doing business with chain stores such as becoming certified as a minority or women owned business. Additionally, there will be an approval process for companies interested in participating in this program.
Duration of Program:
All participants will have continued access to the SBA as well as access to the online portion of the Retail MBA Training Program. However, participants must have completed the Retail MBA online training program, become women and minority owned certified and received a pitch review and adjust accordingly prior to submitting their products to participating retailers.
All submissions to retailers will be sent through the Retail MBA system. And although there are no guarantees of becoming a chain store vendor through the Retail Vendor Program, participants will receive invaluable training and support as well as direct access to the world’s largest retailers!
The Retail Vendor Program is limited to 100 participants per quarter. To become a participant in this exciting program, please input your name and email address into the form below and we will send you additional information related to this program shortly!