VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Excitement overflowed at a shelter at Mount Trashmore as academic, author and entrepreneur Dr. Angela Reddix congratulated 10 finalists who are competing for $20,000 in prizes in her second “Reddix Rules: Creating a Millionaire” project.

To make it this far, business owners — from bakers to an online stationery company owner to a pharmacist — competed with 100 applicants.

The finalists have great ideas for business but Reddix says they just need a little push along the way.

“They need a little push but also they need to feel seen; there’s something about being seen that brings a level of accountability,” said Reddix.

Dr. Angela Reddix (Photo courtesy: IAMBMWPHOTOGRAPHY)

The prizes come later, but for now, the contestants get a “boarding pass” that includes intense training with contacts in the business world including representatives from Ebony Magazine, Atlantic Union Bank, Earnest & Young, Grow with Google, Doctor SOS, Forbes Business Council and KW Brown Ministries.

Their dreams range from expansion to inspiration. Monique McEachin owns an online stationery company but hopes to one day sell her products at retail giants.

“To get into stores like Target and Walmart — everywhere,” said McEachin shortly after getting her passport and a bouquet of flowers.

Janice Miles has marketing plans for seats to be used in public spaces that can offer cleanliness. If the seats take off, Miles hopes to use her platform to encourage other single mothers.

“[I have] three children [and I am] a single mother, and I would like to use my platform to let [other single mothers] know they can do it too,” said Miles.

The assistance comes at a critical time. According to a report in Forbes Magazine, 41% of Black-owned businesses failed during the first year of the pandemic.

Reddix is the founder and owner of a 15-year-old multi-million dollar health care management and I.T. consulting company with 100 employees. But her “Reddix Rules: Creating a Millionaire” program isn’t about wealth, it’s about rebuilding the entire village.

Reddix Rules: Creating a Millionaire is the offshoot of Reddix’s program to create “thousandaires.” Her teen-targeted organization, Envision Lead Grow, teaches young ladies how to become entrepreneurs. Reddix Rules: Creating a Millionaire is focused on mothers and their critical roles in rebuilding the entire village for the African American community.

“We are going to be able to take them to the next level and I am excited about what this is going to do for our community,” she said.

Reddix, who is also the director of the Ernest M. Hodge Center for Entrepreneurship at Norfolk State University, encourages others with resources to follow her lead in offering help to minority business owners.

“We are not finished. We need more partners. This is a movement and it’s going to take all of us who have the capacity — whether it’s your time … your treasures … or your talents. We need everyone to see this is a model that we can sustain if we have enough partners,” said Reddix.

Note: Since the story was published we have since learned the Weight Watchers partnership mentioned in the video component of this story is still under negotiations.