Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation Honors Three Local Leaders and Holds 60-Second Black-Owned Business Pitch Contest to Celebrate Black History Month


LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation celebrated Black History Month by honoring three local leaders and hosting a Black-Owned Business Competition for startups and small businesses.

VSEDC honored Sharon ColemanCEO of Coleman Construction and President of the Southern California Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, Robert LewisChairman and President of BCIF – the Black Cooperative Investment Fund, and the Honorable Sydney K. Kamlager, a California State Senator representing the 30and Senate District.

Chosen from 60 applicants, six finalists pitched their business to a panel of judges and an audience of lenders and other small businesses. The finalists were rated by traditional and non-traditional lenders which included representatives from Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Comerica, LISC and the Black Cooperative Investment Fund.

The first, second and third place winners received $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively. The winner of the public prize also left with another $500.

Among start-ups, Eben Reyrepresenting The Array of NEIO Systems, proposed a county-wide emergency system connected to public LED displays, won first prize and the People’s Choice Award. Talia Boone from Postal Petals, a DIY floral company that sources from local growers, won second prize, and Lawrencia Blount of Lawrencia Bridal Couture, a boutique bridal fashion studio, came in third.

Among the small businesses, the top prize went to Enjunaya Township which showcased Zuhuri Beauty, a line of all-natural organic beauty products. The second prize went to Trevor Hooverwho launched his chicken wing restaurant with his grandmother’s hot sauce recipe, Wingopolis. Nickeya Hannah came in third with Hygiene First, a hygiene vending machine company.

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) is a non-profit community development and financial institution (CDFI) recognized for decades of technical and entrepreneurial assistance to small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles. The service provided by VSEDC serves to stimulate community self-sufficiency, facilitate business growth, access to affordable housing, goods and services, and job creation. VSEDC achieves this through youth education and entrepreneurship projects, CDFI programs, and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the VSEDC, visit, Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation


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