Pipeline Logo

An Economic Inclusion Initiative was developed by Essence Communications, Inc., in collaboration with the Urban League of Louisiana as a culturally driven procurement program for the brand’s premiere experience, the Essence Festival of Culture. The Essence Festival of Culture is one of the world’s largest curated content celebrations of culture and community attracting over half a million attendees in New Orleans, LA annually. As Essence looks ahead to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ESSENCE in 2021, the brand will expand the Essence Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola® experience for attendees with more entertainment, empowerment and culture, in addition to deepening its community impact and legacy in the Louisiana region.

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Amaris Catering

"Being selected as the backstage caterer was life changing. I had always envision my company catering to large events and the pipeline actually made it possible. The program was a genius way to give local entrepreneurs and small companies in the city an opportunity to of play in the big leagues and capitalize on some of the revenue the festival brings in. Since the festival our clientele continues to expand and many opportunities to cater other live events has been presented."

Arian Simone

B. Bryant Productions

"Becoming a vendor for the Essence Festival has opened doors for my company. This was the first large corporate event of this size that we helped produce and we owe many thanks to the Pipeline Program. Our organization is now prepared to take on just about any size job thanks to Essence!"

Arian Simone

Burton Transit

“Having just launched Burton Transit in April 2018, the Essence Pipeline Program was a tremendous help in building our company’s brand, establishing our credibility, and introducing us to a national platform to network with.”

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The pipeline is an Economic Inclusion Initiative that will offer more opportunities to support the procurement of contracts for 2020 Essence Festival services. The initiative’s approach will focus on the following key components for black-owned businesses.

Capacity building – strengthening the abilities and skills of businesses to continue to improve and develop overtime
Increasing project opportunities
Training and development services – provide innovative and high-quality training in to enhance the performance of black-owned businesses through the Essence Live Event & Production Academy

Essence and the Urban League of Louisiana has identified the delivery and execution processes required for results and program achievement for The Pipeline initiative.

• Develop a database of small businesses interested in Festival opportunities

• Engage more black-owned businesses and strengthen the small business ecosystem in Louisiana

• Investment in small business incubators as partners to support capacity building

• Diversify the pipeline of contractors to increase the number of contracts that are led by black-owned businesses in Louisiana

• Build upon the Essence Festival’s economic impact

• Investment in the long-term growth of small business ecosystem through partnerships with small business incubators on training and development

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Overall Main Campus
Festival Scopes

Ground Transportation
Décor + Floral
Event Video Services
Printing Services
Shuttle Service
Brand Ambassador + staffing
Golf Carts
Catering-multi Venues
Superlounge Audio + Video
Portable Toilets Services

Off-Campus Scopes

Generator rentals
Recycling + clean-up services
Tent Rentals
Furniture Rentals
Audio/Visual Equipment
Radio Rentals
Production Staging Rental
Barricades/Bike Rack
Restaurant Passport program
ATM’s rental
Security Services- Off-campus
Staging Resources

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Submit your intent to bid to the link below:

Deadline to submit a bid is between February 6th –20th, 2020
Essence and Production Partners to review submissions and select service vendors no later than by March 4, 2020

Have questions? Contact us at pipeline@essence.com

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Urban League of Louisiana
Through The Pipeline, the Urban League of Louisiana deepens its commitment to connect small businesses across Louisiana to procurement and training opportunities with the ESSENCE Festival of Culture. As a statewide entrepreneurial development organization, we deploy deliberate, innovative, place-based programming and services to entrepreneurs in communities throughout Louisiana. Our mission is to provide impactful support to women and entrepreneurs of color that want to create and grow scalable, profitable and sustainable business ventures.

Louisiana Economic Development (LED)
The Pipeline will connect our audience of black women entrepreneurs to LED’s entrepreneurship and small business programs – CEO roundtables, entrepreneurial training, legal assistance, managerial training, marketing and design and accounting resources.

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.

For 30 years, NOMTN has given small businesses a leg up in the tourism/hospitality industry. Our goal is to forge alliances to increase leadership, career, and business opportunities at all levels of the hospitality industry for minorities and minority-owned businesses.


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