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Comedian and TV personality Kim Coles is no stranger to the Hollywood scene.Â She is best remembered for her numerous roles in hit television shows like her five-season turn as the unforgettable “Synclaire” on FOX’s ground-breaking comedy series Living Single and her breakout performance on the FOX sketch comedy series In Living Color. She also authored the book, I’m Free But It Will Cost You: The Single Life According to Kim Coles (Hyperion).
Coles is co-host ofÂ the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) newest game show, Are You Normal America?, which will include man-on-the-street polling of diverse individuals and will premier later this summer. But before settling into this gig, Coles will join The CASHFLOW Founder Magnus Greaves, radio personality and author Michael Baisden and Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. as a judge for the ever popular Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, taking place at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo (BEEC2012) in Chicago (May 23-26).
AÂ group of select entrepreneurs will bring their best 60-second business pitch and go head-to-head in the high-stakes competition. The grand prize winner will be awarded $10,000, plus gain the opportunity to take advantage of an eight-week mentoring workshop with The CASHFLOW, a program to help urban entrepreneurs start and grow
businesses and gain access to capital and other resources.
Coles is eager to hear this year’s business pitches. “I’m excited about participating on this panel because I love the visionary spirit of entrepreneurship,” she says. “I applaud and admire anyone who steps out of the box and I cannot wait to cheer everyone on to the business of their dreams!”
The comedic actress has set out on her own entrepreneurial path and seeks to empower others. She is combining comedy and inspiration with Open the G.I.F.T.S., a transformational program designed to inspire her fans to identify and express their true gifts, to live life out loud, to experience greater joy, and to be more fulfilled. The G.I.F.T.S. program has been adapted for corporations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions, and is attended for a broad audience base–women, men, teenagers, and young children.
“The G.I.F.T.S. Program is a lifestyle journey, where we encourage each other to make new choices in our lives,” says Coles, who also is operating a namesake nonprofit foundation and is producing a one-woman show this summer. “I have been on a personal journey in the last couple of years to find more purpose and passion. Of course, I have been blessed to have a very interesting, varied and fulfilling show biz career. And yes, there have been ups and downs, but I have managed to stay afloat and remain grateful even when work was scarce.”
For those top 10 finalists gearing up for the BE Elevator Pitch in Chicago, Coles offers some words of wisdom:
Be passionate about your ideas. The audience will feel it and so will the judges.
Be authentic. We can feel that too!
Make a difference. I know you want to make money. But do you want to make a difference?
Dream BIG, have fun and remember to breath!”
The Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition is one of the major attractions of the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23-26, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL. Search and follow the hashtag #BEEC2012 on Twitter for the latest updates on conference speakers and sessions. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visit dev.blackenterprise.com/ec/