The Pipeline

An Economic Inclusion Initiative
In 2018, Essence Communications was acquired by Essence Ventures, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color. As a newly black-owned company, Essence Communications is positioned to enable sustainable opportunities for economic independence, social empowerment and wealth creation for Black women and their communities. Birthed from the success of ESSENCE’s live experiential and content platforms, The Pipeline is designed to increase the pool of women and Black professionals pursuing careers and business opportunities in live events and technical production.

THE PIPELINE will connect small businesses in Louisiana to a growing list of procurement opportunities with the Essence Festival. Essence and its partner, Urban League of Louisiana, will extend information briefings and RFP trainings to small businesses interested in strengthening their skills and growing their networks to compete for work at the 2019 Essence Festival.


Apply at an Info Session
Join us for one of our mandatory Information Briefings to learn more about opportunities to bid on for the 25th Anniversary of the Essence Festival. Register for a mandatory Information Briefing now!

FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Registration: 5:30 PM
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Urban League Headquarters
4640 S. Carrollton Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70119

FEBRUARY 7, 2019
Registration: 8:30 AM
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Round-Up Room (Cattlemen's Steakhouse)
3131 Pershing Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 70119

FEBRUARY 6, 2019
Registration: 8:30 AM
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Goodwood Library
7711 Goodwood Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

FEBRUARY 8, 2019
Registration: 8:30 AM
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Louisiana Delta Community College-Monroe Campus
LA Purchase Building,
Conference Center 108B
7500 Milhaven Road
Monroe, LA 71203

March 2019!

New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC)
The Pipeline will connect Louisiana’s black college student population to opportunities to gain paid internship experience and make industry connections through the festival infrastructure. Essence and NOVAC will create a network of aspiring production professionals from Louisiana to build relationships in a competitive cohort of applicants and develop skills in a unique, high intensity production environment in the festival. Selected candidates will participate in an orientation to prepare interns for the opportunity and learn more about careers in the industry. This partnership will launch in March 2019, as outlined below.

Get Access!

New Voices Fund
The Pipeline will offer targeted capital raising opportunities and access for black women entrepreneurs across the Louisiana region through the New Voices Fund - a $100 Million Fund created to empower women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

Training Opportunities!

Louisiana Economic Development (LED)
Learn more about LED’s entrepreneurship programs – CEO roundtables, entrepreneurial training, legal assistance, managerial training, marketing and design and accounting resources. Learn More