AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – West Texas A&M University announced that applications will open for the WT Enterprise Center’s 2023-24 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge on Oct. 31, which will mark its 27th year.
According to organizers, primary business owners located in Potter or Randall County will be able to compete in the challenge for award amounts of up to $75,000 to grow their businesses, out of a total prize pool of $300,000.
Business owners will be able to apply online starting on Oct. 31, said WT, and must attend one mandatory orientation to review the process of eligibility and selection requirements. Orientation sessions are also expected to begin on Oct. 31.
“The excitement has begun to build as we start the 27th year of the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge,” said Brian Enevoldsen, managing director for the WT Enterprise Center. “Every year, as we prepare for the months of work ahead, we are grateful to provide opportunity and hope to businesses looking to scale their companies.”
Organizers described that the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge is a program of the WT Enterprise Center and is funded by the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, which aims to assist in the expansion of business outside of the Amarillo area. During the annual challenge, which has run since 1995, more than 100 participants have been awarded more than $7.5 million in total. Participants in the annual challenge receive coaching and a support system to scale their company over a five-year period.
Regarding their business plans, WT said that participants are encouraged to work with America’s SBDC at WT for assistance, financial projections, and demographic and industry research. While the assistance is given at no cost, WT noted a limited number of hours are available for challenge entrants.
Over the course of the challenge’s history, said WT, winners have reported a combined revenue of more than $1.48 billion with $407 million in payroll. As a result of winning, those businesses have helped to increase revenue, pay taxes, and stimulate economic activities in the region.
“The Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge is an integral part of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation’s mission to create jobs and economic vitality for our area,” said Kevin Carter, AEDC president. “Many great companies have benefited from the program, and we know that many more will continue to benefit in the future.”
As previously reported on MyHighPlains.com, winners for the 2022-23 EnterPrize Challenge included local businesses such as Creek House Honey Farm, iDocket, Haven Aero, Awesome Water Solutions, and Pro Chem Sales. The challenge awarded the businesses $500,000.
“If you are interested in the program and don’t know if it is a good fit, we encourage you to attend an orientation session where we will help you answer that question.” Enevoldsen said.
More information about the program can be found online or by calling 806-651-8500.
This upcoming EnterPrize challenge comes after a recent decrease in funding for the AEDC by the Amarillo City Council. As previously reported on MyHighPlains.com, the AEDC saw a decrease in funding of $717,000 with the most recent city budget and the WT EnterPrize Challenge received a decrease of $200,000. The challenge applicants will also now have stricter requirements for participation.