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BBVA Compass announces launch of two opportunities for entrepreneurs to garner funding

- BBVA Momentum: Third installment of program for social entrepreneurs opens for applications in late February

- The Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year: Launched in conjunction with The Business Journals across six of the bank's markets

- Bank for Entrepreneurs: With multiple small business-focused programs, BBVA Compass continues to demonstrate its support of main street

DALLAS, Feb. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At an event celebrating the winner of BBVA Momentum 2018 last night, BBVA Compass executives announced the opening for 2019 Momentum applications, as well as a second opportunity for entrepreneurs to win up to $60,000 for their businesses, called the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest presented by BBVA Compass and The Business Journals. 

BBVA Compass corporate logo (PRNewsFoto/BBVA Compass)

BBVA Compass Executive Director of the Business Banking Segment Elizabeth Dobers said the two programs, combined with the recently announced Houston Rockets Launchpad, signal the bank's intention to become the bank for entrepreneurs, demonstrating ongoing support for the small businesses that are the lifeblood of the communities where it operates.

"With BBVA Momentum, we've seen firsthand the power that small businesses have in our local communities to create change and we believe there is no better way to live our purpose of creating opportunities than to support them," Dobers said. "When a small business wins, we all win, from the city where they are growing their business, to the people living in and around the community. It's why we launched BBVA Momentum in the U.S. two years ago and have expanded our efforts this year with the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest."

Program No. 1: BBVA Momentum

BBVA Momentum has been operating since 2011 in other countries throughout the global footprint of BBVA, the Madrid-based bank, but 2017 marked its first foray into the U.S. Tailored for social entrepreneurs - those whose business aims to solve social problems - BBVA Momentum seeks to help participating companies scale up and make a positive impact on the lives of more people.

As part of the program, participants are given access to online and in-person training, strategic mentorship and support, networking opportunities and visibility over the course of five months. The online component is provided by Corporate Learning Alliance, a partnership between IE Business School and the Financial Times, while the face-to-face training is conducted by the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

Each social entrepreneur is paired with a mentor from BBVA Compass to provide one-on-one support for the entirety of the program. At the end of the program, BBVA Compass awards prizes to participant enterprises considered most sustainable and with the highest social impact. In addition, winners may be eligible to receive further investment opportunities, including capital to implement the growth plans developed during the program.

In 2017, Chad Houser of Dallas-based Café Momentum, a restaurant training platform for juvenile offenders, achieved top honors. In 2018, On the Road Lending, also based in Dallas, took home the $75,000 prize. On the Road Lending finances fuel-efficient and reliable cars, under warranty, for lower-skilled workers with weak credit.

Applications to participate in the 2019 edition of BBVA Momentum open in late February and close on April 22 with final selection announced in May. Social entrepreneurs based in BBVA Compass' seven-state footprint with an interest in participating should go to www.momentum.bbva.com when applications officially open to apply.

Program No. 2: Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year

New for 2019, BBVA Compass is teaming up with The Business Journals to present the Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the Year contest.

The contest is being held in six markets and gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their innovative business idea for a chance to win up to $60,000. Interested businesses must demonstrate how they are innovating to create opportunities for their clients and market, whether through disruptive technology, a new product, service or business model creation or serving customers in new and different ways.

After entering via the Business Journals' website, five finalists will be selected by online vote in each area were the contest is being held. Those finalists will pitch their business at a Business Journals event where a panel of judges, including BBVA Compass spokesperson and self-made entrepreneur Sandra Lee, will select one winner from the market. That business will be awarded $10,000 and an opportunity to compete for $50,000 at the final event in Nashville, Tenn.

The contest is open to small business owners that have been established for a minimum of two years as of the date of entry and have at least $1 million in annual revenue. For more information on the contest and how it works, click on any of the links below:

"We are excited about these opportunities for entrepreneurs in these markets, and excited to support them as they move forward with their businesses," Dobers said. "That they focus on two areas of major importance to BBVA Compass - social responsibility and innovation - is by design. We want to emphasize these areas in order to continue our efforts as a bank to create unique and impactful opportunities for the people in our communities."

To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit: www.bbvacompass.com.

For more news visit: www.bbva.com and newsroom.bbvacompass.com

About BBVA Group
BBVA (BBVA) is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States; and it is also the leading shareholder in Garanti, Turkey's biggest bank for market capitalization. Its diversified business is focused on high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. More information about BBVA Group can be found at bbva.com

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 645 branches, including 332 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 18 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (6th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 6th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2017. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found under the Investor Relations tab at bbvacompass.com. For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter, visit newsroom.bbvacompass.com, or visit bbva.com.



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