(by:  Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Business)

It’s no secret that minority entrepreneurs haven’t gotten a fair shake from big corporate brands.

On Tuesday, Lowe’s (LOW) announced it is partnering with Daymond John, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in an effort to help change that. They’re inviting minority entrepreneurs and other owners of diverse small businesses to apply for a chance to pitch their products to Lowe’s executives and win some shelf space in the home improvement giant’s stores.
Lowe’s defines diverse small businesses as at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by minorities, women, veterans, the disabled or those who are LGBTQ.
The idea is to helpstreamline the process and let these business owners make their case directly to Lowe’s executives with the help of John, who is also the founder of hip hop apparel company FUBU. “Lowe’s is giving these minority-owned businesses a much-deserved chance to shine while uncovering unique, smart products that will make Lowe’s shelves even more appealing to customers,” John said.
Normally, it could take a business years to get its products in front of key executives at a big retailer, he told CNN Business.
And, he joked, “The best thing about this is that unlike on Shark Tank, you’re pitching directly to [Lowe’s] executives. They’re not trying to be like Kevin O’Leary and get a royalty for life [by taking a stake in your company.]”
(read more at cnn.com)