Please join us for the 19th annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition Awards Ceremony. 

More than $40,000 will be awarded to the competition's top entrepreneurs to start their business in Brooklyn.  

Also, five PowerUP! entrepreneurs will participate in a pitch competition for the $1,000 Audience Choice Award. YOU will choose the winner during the ceremony!

The ceremony will be hosted by Joe Connolly, popular Business News Host on WCBS Newsradio 880 New York. Joe has been called "the Voice of Small Businesses in New York" thanks to his long-running Daily Small Business Reports and WCBS Business Breakfasts. To join us, register here

Watch the 2021 pitch competition below, and watch the 2020 pitch competition online here.

Since 2003, we have nurtured 9,275 individuals with over 1,200 business plans and awarded more than $500,000 to Brooklyn entrepreneurs. Our success stories include more than 100 companies with passion for food and drink, health and wellness, arts and crafts, media and fashion, education, social justice, and cultural diversity –everything that makes Brooklyn great.

Some early winners, like Bogota Latin Bistro and Greenlight Bookstore, have become local institutions, while recent winners like Brooklyn Tea and Island Pops, hope to be the next generation of Brooklyn destinations.

In the spirit of the Library, we welcome all Brooklyn residents. Among our 2021 participants, 25% are immigrants/foreign born, 72% are women, and 72% have never owned a business.


  • Winners will receive cash awards as seed capital to start a business in Brooklyn. Cash prizes of $20,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, $5,000 for third place, and $1,000 for five merit winners will be awarded. Also, during the awards ceremony,one of the merit winners will be chosen by the audience to receive an additional $1,000!
  • All prospective applicants must attend the orientation before applying. The orientation explains all the details of applying to and participating in the competition.
  • Participants must attend the orientation, get a Brooklyn Public Library Card, meet with a business advisor, and attend a minimum of 3 PowerUP! webinar classes.
  • Participants attend Zoom webinar classes on creating business plans, marketing, financial projections, and doing business research. The financial projections and business research classes are mandatory.
  • Participants are referred to organizations in the community who offer free business counseling.
  • Business plans must follow the format and guidelines provided by the competition. Previously written plans must be revised to comply with the competition guidelines.

A well-researched plan that follows the guidelines and clearly shows:

  • A need and use for the financial award
  • How your business will provide needed products or services to the community
  • How your business will be viable and successful
  • We no longer offer the PowerUP! KREYòL competition. Language support will be provided for those who speak Kreyòl and want to enter PowerUP!

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