Wish me Luck in the NYPL’s Business Plan Competition

52 pages later… we did it! “We” is usually “me”, but this took a tribe.

All I did was submit my business plan and I already feel like a winner. As introduced in my previous post, this is what I’ve been up to: the New York Public Library’s NY StartUP! Business Plan Competition. I had it done a week before the deadline, but then my OCD kept kicking in and I updated it all the way through the final day. I wanted to run here and celebrate right away on the 7th, but I’ve spent the past couple of days indulging in some much needed self-care; you know, just getting around to the things I’ve neglected while working towards this goal (like my hygiene, lol).

Winning this competition would earn me their $15,000 grand prize. While that’s hardly a dent in my start-up costs, the publicity I would get as a literary business winning the NYPL’S competition would be absolutely priceless… “The Bronx is Burning with Desire to Read…” in all the local and industry media. Imagine?! Take that naysayers… along with these statistics that show indie booksellers and the Bronx are far from dead! “Put some respek on the Bronx’ name!” (High-five if you got the reference.) You know, booksellers and the Bronx have a lot in common in terms of stigma. That’s another blog post though.


Want to know what you’re made of? Write a business plan. Competition, taking out a loan,  or not. I promise that what you’ll end up with is more for YOU than for anyone else.


Greater than all that, I have a finished business plan (only 1 year and 7 months later)! It was devastating at the time, but I’m grateful that my lease negotiation fell through. The business plan template I was working with prior to the competition didn’t come close to the many, many, many, resources I was given to fulfill the competition’s requirements. This process has taught me so much more about my business and myself than I could have imagined. The questions I was forced to answer took such bravery to research and answer. Maaan, the things I went through to get data and put our story together–that’s another blog post too. It’ll go something like… “how writing a business plan made me fat, cry a lot, sprain my ankle, find out who my real friends are, want to have my accounting degree revoked, and restored my faith in humanity”. Juicy, lol.

And the thank yous… I have SO many thank yous to give those that helped (and dragged) me to one of my proudest accomplishments in life; but I’ll save that for when I post that I’m a finalist next month 😏. Wish me luck!

1st Noëlle


  1. […] It was just announced that my plan for The Lit. Bar is a finalist in the New York Public Library’s New York StartUp! Business Plan Competition. You guys that have been down with the 1stNoëlle Nation for some time know how much I’ve put into this and what’s at stake, but if you’re new here (or need a refresher), check out my post Wish Me Luck in the NYPL’s Business Plan Competition. […]


  2. First, congrats my fellow Bronxite on winning the very significant NYPL Business Plan competition. Second, and the heart of my missive, when you wrote your business plan, did you have already a Business Model? If not, why not, and if yes, did it help with the drafting of the Business Plan? Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats again 🙂


    • Thank you! Yes, I did have a model before I wrote it, but it changed a LOT during the process. I advise everyone to write one; my research exposed my risks and gave me new ideas before I took the plunge.


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