Bigger and Better Business became the first national program of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. It was first introduced at the Tenth Anniversary Conclave, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (December 1924). When Bigger and Better Business was adopted as a national program, special emphasis was placed on encouraging and promoting Negro businesses. At its inception, the program sought to encourage Negro businesses to improve their business acumen, efficiency and service to the public, to be competitive with other businesses.
To fulfill its programmatic thrust, the Fraternity asks all chapters to focus on the following initia- tives: the IRS VITA Program, Project S.E.E.D. and the Sigma Business Initiative. The following guide will give you a detailed outline of each initiative; however, please contact any member of the Bigger and Better Business team, if you need any additional resources
The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program is a community service program of the Internal Revenue Service. The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local com- munities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. (www.irs.gov)
The focus of Phi Beta Sigma’s VITA Partnership program has evolved into three service areas:
The Sigma Economic Empowerment Development Project (Project SEED) is a Bigger & Better Business program developed to focus on two important topics of interest: Financial Management and Home Ownership. This focus provides useful information in both areas and benefits Phi Beta Sigma members, families, and communities. Project SEED is designed to be implemented at all organizational levels, by alumni and collegiate chapters. Each of the program’s components are economically viable and relevant, current concerns of our membership.
The primary purpose of the program during its in- ception was to educate men of Sigma on the importance of financial management, credit wor- thiness, and wealth building. Throughout its existence, Project SEED’s scope has expanded to include a wide range of financial topics reaching a wider target market—from teenagers to senior citizens.
Phi Beta Sigma established our own Sigma Business Network that is driven by our website www.sigmabusiness. org. The goal of the website/network is to provide networking, educational, wealth guiding and advocacy support Sigma men who are business owners. This network will focus on building relationships that facilitate assisting brothers in growing their businesses. This network will assist chapters in identifying Sigma-owned businesses that offer products and services that chapters can utilize in the execution of their day to day business. The goal website is to allow:
Phi Beta Sigma established the Bigger and Better Business program in 1924 with the purpose of supporting and building black businesses throughout the United States. The first Bigger and Better Business program was a Black Business expo at the 1924 Philadelphia Conclave. Today, Phi Beta Sigma must continue the spirit that was exhibited during the program’s inception--chapters are encouraged to support our brothers’ businesses in any way possible.
The James A. “Billboard” Jackson Entrepreneurship competition is a bi-annual competition (conclave years). The competition affords Phi Beta Sigma members the opportunity to showcase their business plans and ideas before established entrepreneurs and compete for grant money (two (2) $10,000 – 1 alumni and 1 collegiate).
Jopwell operates an online interactive employment opportunity platform that connects minority job candidates with potential employers. Through Jopwell Service, collegiate Sigma brothers can view marketing pages of partner companies containing information about the partner companies, available roles, video content and other market- ing materials. Collegiate Sigma brothers will access this online to and register for access to the Jopwell partner companies. Brothers will be required to do the following:
Register on-line via www.jopwell.com/events/phibetasigma
The program recommends that Sigma brothers enroll into Jopwell during the Fall semester (September through November). Although, enrollment can be done outside of this window, this enrollment period is the most effective in securing internships and jobs for the spring and summer months.