• Report: #1074162

Complaint Review: Black Enterprise

  • Submitted: Thu, August 08, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, August 08, 2013

  • Reported By: bb — Georgia
Black Enterprise
260 Madison Avenue New York, NY , New York USA

Black Enterprise Black Enterprise, Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Contest,100 Urban Entrepreneurs / 100UE 2011 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Contest is a SCAM New York, NY New York

*Author of original report: Please remove this message.

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The 2011 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch contest was a scam and winning enturepuernes/companies have yet recieve their $10,000 grand prize award. The contenst was held again in 2012 and 2013. Since the 2011 content, Black Enterprise has continued to operate the content and give winners cash prizes, while winners from the 2011 contest have yet to be paid. 

Starting for the beginning, after winning the Grand Prize at the 2011 BE Entrepreneur Expo I was told reps from 100UE would be following up with me to explain how to claim my prize. Immediately after the event, a Black Enterprise rep told me that I would be receiving my funding within 30 days, they even gave me a tax form to complete the night of the event.

I won the content is May, it was early September before I heard anything from the 100UE staff about next steps with training, the program, or funding. [continued below]....
..... From that point, I along with other 100UE "winners" we required to attend a large number of "training calls" (on average 2-3 per week @ 2hrs each), along with submitting various content assignments before we became eligible to receive our funding. 
By the time the program was over and we were eligible to receive funds, that's when the trouble began. As we began to request our funds, we were told by 100UE staff that financial issues had occurred and that we would have to wait longer before we could get our $10k funding, or any smaller increments. 
Here is an except from an email from 100UE dated 1/19/12:
On behalf of all 100UE I apologize for any delays. As you may know, we are funded via a Canadian Foundation. Unfortunately, we had some end of year governmental issues to deal with in regards to maintaining our tax status on both sides as a result of being supported by non U.S organizations. That was resolved just this week so the remaining checks from December will be mailed out this week. 

Inopportunely, we have also learned that this also as an adverse affect on future funding requests until we are able to transition our donation sources to U.S companies, organizations, and individuals.   As a result, we ask that you please hold off on your second requests until we are able to sort things out. And for those of you who have already requested a second round of funding we will be asking you to revisit them in the near future.

Basically, that's the last we've heard. Since this email further attempts to email for information have either been ignored or we've been told it's just not going to happen. Emails to Magnus Greaves and other 100UE staff/mentors have slowly trickled to a stop.
The insulting part is that when we email the group for answers, most people have just given up hope.
Here's an email I received from 100UE on 5/8/13:

As of right now, things are dead in the water; even the e-mail correspondence between people on the team has pretty well dried up. Which doesn't mean anything's permanent, but it's definitely frustrating.   If you want, feel free to e-mail Magnus Greaves (email removed) and inquire with him, as he's much more involved in the actual financing aspects of the whole production than I am. Sorry I don't have more news for you, or certainly better news. But maybe drop Magnus a line and see if he's got any additional information. 

It's been frustrating and stressful on my personally as I look at the BE website to see that Elevator Pitch contents continue, and winners are given the $10k. I can only assume that you and your staff were not aware of what has happened and while I understand that BE may not be liable or responsible, I cannot express to you how frustrating it's been to try to manage this process and juggle personal/business. Even more frustrating is that when people ask my about it, I really can't say anything good.
Honestly, I'm sure that 100UE's intentions were good in the beginning...but it really didn't seem like they ever had any intention of paying the $10k. There were so many times during the program that it seems things were just being "made up" but I went along in hopes that by doing my part I would receive my $10k. I wish I could fall back on the experience, but it just wasn't what anyone expected it to be.
On 5/9, I contacted Black Enterprise's editor-at-large Alfred Edmond Jr for futher assistance. 
After explainnig my sitation, he responded by letting me know that Black Enterprise would "honor the results of the competition and ensure that you receive the prize." Since then he has yet to follow up with any addtional information or return emails and phone calls. 
Here is a copy of that email.

At this point I simply hope that Black Enterprise does the right thing and honors the promise they've made. While $10,000 might not seem like alot of money to some, it's a TON of money for a small business. I worked hard to build my business, win the contest, and follow the rules...now I simply want Black Enterprise to do the same thing. 

While some contestants and former winners may have had a different experience. I'm simply sharing my experience with the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Contest in hopes that I can bring enough attention to the situation to get a fair and timely resolution. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/08/2013 10:51 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Black-Enterprise/New-York-NY-New-York-10016/Black-Enterprise-Black-Enterprise-Black-Enterprise-Elevator-Pitch-Contest100-Urban-Entr-1074162. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Please remove this message.

AUTHOR: thewebshop - ()


It has come to my attention that a personal message has been re-posted on your website as a rip-off/scam. I did not post this information to your site and request that it be taken down immediately. 
I am  using other avenues to deal with this situation and did not authorize this message to be posted. I am also investigating to determine who posted this message unlawfully on my behalf. Please let me know if you have any questions.
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