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The Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
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 Ray Taliaferro


The Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award seeks to encourage and promote journalistic entrepreneurship within the membership of the National Association of Black Journalists.

The grant is awarded annually to one recipient as recognition for the introduction or significant innovation of a new or existing media enterprise. Applicants should demonstrate the use of journalism practices via an entrepreneurial enterprise that informs, engages and empowers a local, national, or global audience of readers and listeners.

Award Prize:

The recipient of the Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award will receive $5,000 in grant money to further his or her entrepreneurial venture. Additionally, the winner will receive registration, travel, and lodging the 2014 Annual Convention & Career Fair in Boston, MA, July 30 - August 3, 2014.

Application Deadline EXTENDED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 (5:00PM EST) 

Funds for the Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award were provided by the Barry Bonds Family Foundation.

Former President Gregory Lee & Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Editor-in-Chief of


  1. The applicant should have an operating business venture with an existing audience or customer base. The business should operate within the purview of the new media space as it applies to the field of broadcast or print journalism.
  1. The applicant should have in place an actionable business plan — upon which the daily business practices of the venture are rooted — that will clearly illustrate the real or potential long-term viability and sustainability of the venture.
  1. The applicant should provide evidence that he/she has invested substantial personal finances and/or sweat equity in the venture, otherwise known as "skin in the game." The applicant should also have demonstrated an ability to raise funds, through either informal conduits (i.e. family and friends) or formal conduits (i.e. financial institutions or equity investors such as angels or venture capitalists).
  1. The applicant should demonstrate an ability to recruit and retain talented employees, mentors, board members or advisers. This attribute is a key indicator for the sustainability of an enterprise (i.e. the ability of the applicant to inspire, motivate and lead talented people).
  1. The applicant should provide examples of his/her ability to overcome venture-related setbacks and challenges (i.e., risk-profile). The ability to be resourceful, diligent and to show unyielding conviction in his/her efforts to execute the venture's business plan is another key indicator of future success.
  1. The applicant should be able to articulate and/or demonstrate the ability of the venture to innovate or change the way its target audience responds or engages the community or subject matter around them. This is commonly referred to as an "Impact Statement".
  1. The applicant should be able to provide at least three referrals who can articulate why the applicant and his/her venture are worthy of being chosen to receive the award.
  1. All applicants must be a member of NABJ.



What type of entrepreneurial ventures are you looking for?
We are open to a variety of ideas that can reasonably be related to the media or communications industry.

What is considered an established entrepreneurial venture?
We realize 80 percent of start-ups go out of business within the first five years. Hence, we’re only requiring a minimum of 12 months in operation when the applicant files.

When will the winner be notified?
No later than May 10, 2013.

What if I am not a member of NABJ can I still apply ?
You must be a member in good standing with NABJ. If you’re not a member, please click here to join.

Who makes up the selection committee?
Current and long-time NABJ members.

Can I apply if I have no employees?
You can run a company as a sole proprietor. However, you should show strategic partnerships.

Can I apply even if my business has not shown a profit?
We realize given the economy and the tremendous growth of start-up companies, it is difficult for small businesses to show a profit within the first year. But your financial projections should show the potential for growth and sustainability in the longer term.

Funds for the Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award were provided by the Barry Bonds Family Foundation.

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