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BankUnited to Host Gathering of Women Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders At Third Annual “Small Business, Big Dreams” Summit & Live Pitch Event

Held in honor of National Women’s Small Business Month, one women-owned business contestant will take home grand prize of $15,000

~ Business Challenge & Event Registration Now Open ~

One women-owned small business will walk away from BankUnited’s Small Business, Big Dreams: Women in Business Summit with a $15,000 grand prize to help grow their business as part of BankUnited’s annual celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month in October.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The annual gathering, attended by leaders of business and industry, women business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs and featuring inspirational talks, tips and networking opportunities, will take place on Tuesday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale, 1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.

“Our annual Summit in honor of businesswomen is one of the most inspiring and uplifting aspects of the work we do at BankUnited,” said Lisa Shim, BankUnited senior executive vice president and head of consumer and small business banking. “BankUnited is in the business of building relationships and helping business owners thrive as they strive for and reach new goals. The fact that we can gather together with some of the most inspiring women in the country is both personally and professionally meaningful to me. I always come away feeling empowered and energized listening to the journeys of boss ladies overcoming very unique challenges to creatively benefit their businesses and communities.”

The Summit will feature a keynote address by Rachel Sapoznik, founder, president, and CEO of World Insurance Associates, and a panel discussion moderated by Shim and featuring last year’s grand prize winner, Ivelices Linares Thomas, founder & CEO, HR & Beyond; Ramola Motwani, chairwoman, Merrimac Ventures; Marie Gill, founder and CEO, M. Gill & Associates; and Durée Ross, president/founder, Durée & Company, Inc.

Enter to Win

In addition to inspiring talks and networking opportunities, the Summit is a culmination of the Small Business, Big Dreams Challenge, which is now open and encourages women small business owners to upload a video-recorded three-minute pitch that addresses how their business would benefit from the $15,000 grand prize that is awarded to one of three finalists during the live-pitch portion of the October Summit.

Ten semi-finalists will be notified in September and will receive a free ticket to the event. Following one-on-one presentations to BankUnited executives, three finalists will move on to the live-pitch round before a panel of judges and Summit attendees. Cash prizes will be awarded to the grand prize winner ($15,000), first runner-up ($5,000) and second runner-up ($2,500).

The contest closes September 15. To enter, eligible business owners must complete an application and submit an original “elevator pitch” video of up to three minutes. Businesses must be based in Florida or New York, and must be at least 51 percent women-owned. For official contest rules and entry forms, please visit

Tickets to attend the Summit are $25 per person and include continental breakfast and a grab & go lunch. Advance registration is required. For more information and to register please visit

About BankUnited, N.A.

BankUnited, Inc., with total assets of $35.9 billion at June 30, 2023, is the bank holding company of BankUnited, N.A., a national bank headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida that provides a full range of banking and related services to individual and corporate customers through banking centers located in the state of Florida, New York metropolitan area and Dallas, Texas, and a comprehensive suite of wholesale products to customers through an Atlanta office focused in the Southeast region. BankUnited also offers certain commercial lending and deposit products through national platforms. For additional information, call (877) 779-2265 or visit


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