SAVE THE DATE | WBDC 2024 Midwest Business Conference 9.12.24

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2024 Top Shelf Retail Cohort | Application Deadline

April 12

2024 TOP SHELF RETAIL: HIGH VOLUME GROWTH INSIGHTS is an eight-week, curriculum based virtual cohort program designed to help established retail businesses access procurement opportunities in the mass retail market. Participants will learn how to build effect pricing, branding, and marketing strategies, work with category managers and will have the opportunity to pitch their products to a select group of corporate representatives who will provide valuable feedback during the Vendor ShowcaseThe Top Shelf program is sponsored by Walgreens and bp. 


The goal is to provide capacity building training to help diverse-ownedestablished consumer products businesses grow into the mass retail market. Upon competition of the program, participants will have successfully completededucational training and interactive learning opportunities in the following areas: 

  • Capacity building to scale businesses to compete in the retail marketplace                
  • Technical assistance and financial support to help manage cash flow  
  • Pricing analysis 
  • Business capability statement 
  • Branding and marketing 
  • Certification benefits  
  • Preparation of a pitch presentation  
  • How to work with category managers  
  • Risk management and Cybersecurity  
  • Opportunity to pitch to corporate evaluators  

Ideal Candidates:

  • Be a consumer product company that sells (or wishes to sell) to mass retailers 
  • Two or more years in business  
  • Average revenues of $50,000 or greater  
  • Committed to 8-weeks of virtual learning and participation (more than one may attend) 
  • Committed to 8-weeks of virtual learning and participation (more than one may attend) 
  • Committed to attending 3 supplemental Pitch training sessions outside of weekly classes   
  • The program is open to all recognized diverse business owners, male and/or female
  • The business does not need to be certified to participate  


Every Thursday, April 25 to June 13, 2024

9:00 AM 12:00 CST

Supplemental Pitch Sessions:

Tuesdays May 14,21,28

5:30-7:00 P.M. CST


Virtual Zoom Meetings

Application Deadline:

April 12, 2024


Lead Corporate Sponsor


Collaborating Corporate Sponsor

For more information, contact Cynthia Johnson |


April 12
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