How about some help starting your own business? A local contest could make that a reality for one lucky winner. For an entrepreneur, this may as well be the promise land; a place to set up shop, free of charge for six months, in the Independence Mall. "I think it would be great if we could see some local people who were able to come in to sell some of the things they hand make and I would like to see some things that I can find when I go to the mall in Raleigh,” said shopper Jan Boswell. The "You're In Business" contest wants your best idea. While many stores are closing up, the contest aims to open doors. "If it could work in a mall, we want to see it. From maybe a mom who makes the best cookies in town or to unique jewelry or maybe a green type start-up," said Susan Godorov, the VP of Marketing for the Independence Mall. Hopefuls submit an essay of 250 words or less outlining their business. From there, a few will be picked to make it to round two. That's when the business plan comes in. “The first and foremost thing is why someone wants to buy your product or service,” said UNCW professor Jonathan Rowe. Professor Rowe, and UNCW have partnered with the mall to not only help decide who makes the cut, but to give our economy a shot in the arm by giving an entrepreneur a chance. Along with six months free rent, the winner will also be advised by professors from UNCW. To enter, visit shopindependencemall.com. The winner will be announced at the mall on June 24th.
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