Today, Lenovo announced that Grammy and Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated, actress, producer, recording artist, label president and entrepreneur, Queen Latifah will be the face and partner for this year’s iteration of the global technology powerhouse’s Evolve Small initiative. Built to champion and promote small businesses, Evolve Small provides financial aid, technological resources, community support, and business mentorship to small businesses across North America. With the help of Queen Latifah, the program will enhance the benefits offered to participants this year by providing those selected with the opportunity to leverage customized marketing materials to promote their businesses – featuring none other than the Queen herself. Selected participants will also be eligible for personalized mentorship sessions with Queen Latifah, as well as with Lenovo’s expert squad of Evolve Small Ambassadors.
“It is such an honor to have Queen Latifah as our Evolve Small ambassador this year,” said Gerald Youngblood, chief marketing officer, Lenovo North America. “Given our mission to help small businesses evolve, finding a partner who exemplified smart business acumen and an affinity for philanthropy was paramount to making sure this initiative would truly make an impact. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and with Queen Latifah as our partner, we look forward to supporting small businesses across North America.”
Speaking on her new brand ambassadorship, Queen Latifah shared, “I understand the hardships small businesses face and how much more challenging those hardships can be for businesses owned by women and minorities. Knowing how the support I received back when I got started helped me get to where I am today – I’m excited to pay it forward and help others along the way through this partnership with Lenovo’s Evolve Small initiative.”
As part of Evolve Small, Lenovo and Microsoft are hosting a contest where businesses with fewer than 100 employees can submit a 30-second-to-two-minute video pitching their business for a chance to win a $30,000 cash grant, $10,000 in Lenovo technology upgrades, and a mentorship session with Queen Latifah. There will be three grand prize winners and four runner-up winners. Each of the four runner-up winners will receive a $5,000 cash grant and one $5,000 package of Lenovo tech and solutions. Lenovo will begin accepting submissions on October 13, 2022, at Lenovo.com/EvolveSmall and the application process ends November 15, 2022.
Launched last summer, the inaugural Evolve Small program provided over $1,000,000 worth of grants and technology donations to minority-owned small businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Acknowledging the hardships small businesses continue to face amid the current economic landscape, Evolve Small builds upon last year’s success with a primary focus on minority and woman-owned businesses – all in an effort to spotlight local community gems and encourage consumers and tourists to “visit and shop small.” With a mission to help small businesses enhance their day-to-day operations and scale upwards, Lenovo and partner AMD are also partnering with Goodie Nation, an entrepreneurship and community building non-profit organization, to expand the reach of the program and provide additional grants.
Learn how Lenovo has been supporting small businesses and keep up to date on the Evolve Small efforts, resources, and technology solutions at Lenovo.com/EvolveSmall. Visit LenovoFoundation.com to learn more about Lenovo’s global philanthropic efforts to empower underrepresented populations with access to technology and education.