Via: defendernetwork.com

Macy’s first business development program is accepting applications from minority and women-owned businesses to participate in a one-of-a-kind program covering the business of fashion – The Workshop at Macy’s.Setting the stage for retail business innovation, The Workshop at Macy’s aims to nurture and grow the next generation of minority and women-owned retail talent. The four and a half-day intensive training course, scheduled in May 2011 at Macy’s Herald Square offices in New York City, will be taught byMacy’s seasoned executives and industry experts, as well as key retail partners. With this annual program, Macy’s hopes to create a pipeline of viable vendors that will grow to become successful partners within Macy’s own vendor community.

“Of the many initiatives Macy’s, Inc. has pursued on behalf of our expanding diversity strategy, supplier diversity is an area of special importance,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. “The Workshop at Macy’s is the latest example of our continued commitment to support and grow certified minority or women-owned retail vendors that will allow us to enhance our business, while also providing our customers with compelling product. As partners, it’s a true win-win for both the vendor and our company. Macy’s finds and nurtures talented new vendors who can deliver high quality, competitively priced merchandise and these vendors, in turn, see their business grow.”

The Workshop at Macy’s will allow selected participants to collaborate with fellow aspiring vendors, gain access to industry experts and solicit one-on-one business coaching. The course work includes classes on Strategic Planning, Merchandising and Assortment Planning, Branding, Sales and Marketing, and Access to Capital.

To be eligible, an applicant must be the majority (51% or more of equity) owner, co-owner or otherwise have operational control (per applicable status rules) of a business that has been in operation for at least two consecutive years and be its primary decision maker. Eligible applications will include a 250-word biographical statement, look book/line sheets or images of product including costs, resumes on all owners, audited financial statements for the business for 2 years, fall within the minority and women-owned definition of the program and provide verification of the business as a legal entity (i.e. Corporation, LLC, etc.), among other requirements. Applications must be submitted by 5:00pm on Friday, February 11, 2011 online or by mail. All information including full program requirements are available online at http://www.macysinc.com/workshop. All eligible applications will be reviewed and selected applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview. Final selections will be made after all prospective candidates are interviewed. The program will aim to invite at minimum 20 candidates to attend the course which begins on May 9, 2011.

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