The Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge is a program of the WT Enterprise Center and funded by the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation to assist entrepreneurs in expanding an existing primary business in Potter and Randall counties.
Awesome Water Solutions was named one of the winners for this year’s Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge. Awesome Water Solutions, owned by Tony and Amy Stokes, who are the brother-in-law and sister of Steven White, the Pampa News Pressman, exists to provide you with the best solution to any and all of your water needs.
The Stokes were elated when they learned they were one of the winners of the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge. They wanted to highlight that their daughter, Kimberly Stokes, was the one who dedicated her time and did the hard work to make this all possible.
Stokes is 25 years old and a 2021 graduate from West Texas A&M University and earned her Business Degree with a minor in Finance. Stokes has worked for Awesome Water Solutions since November 2022.
When Stokes began working for Awesome Water Solutions, the challenge was in its first beginnings. Stokes gave a description of what the six-month challenge entailed.
“The challenge was so much work. I had to write an investor fax sheet, a 30-page business plan, and did a presentation,” Stokes said. “I was super excited to get this achievement for my family and the business.”
There are many sections to the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge. There is an enrollment period and businesses must go to orientation. At orientation, the judges tell you the requirements the businesses need to meet in order to participate. Stokes highlighted some of those requirements.
“For example, since we were representing the Amarillo-Canyon Area, our business must be located in that area,” Stokes said. “We had to have at least 51% of our business revenue that must be from outside the Amarillo metropolitan counties.”
Once the judges determine eligibility, the businesses participate in a six-month challenge.
In the second section of the challenge, each business must submit an investor fax sheet. It is a one-page summary of the business, its services, and the business plan.
“Writing one page sounds very easy, but it is actually super difficult,” Stokes said. “Making a detailed summary of the overall business and its services fit into one page was hard. I needed to evaluate which information was important to mention and determine what I needed to highlight about the business.”
Once Awesome Water Solutions submitted the investor fax sheet, the Stokes learned they were chosen to move on to the next section of the challenge, the five-year business plan. The business plan included: what the business currently does, what the business plans to do in the next five years, submission of the business’ historical financial information from the last two years, plus a projected financial plan future that predicts the next five years.
“While we had a 20-page requirement, which is the narrative of the business plan, there is also a cover page, table of contents, and appendix included. That made the overall business plan 30 pages,” Stokes said.
After it is submitted, the judges would then evaluate the business plans and choose which businesses would make it to the next section, preparing a presentation. Each business had three to four weeks to prepare a presentation. Once finished, the businesses must give their presentation in front of the five judges, WT Enterprise Center, and Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. From there, each of the judges and organizations makes their decision to determine the recipients.
Stokes explained what was presented to the judges and organization.
“Since we asked for the full $100,000, we had to allocate where every single dollar will be used in our business plan,” Stokes said. “They want to know what the business will be spending the money on, how it will improve the business, and how the award will serve the purpose of bringing revenue from outside economies to our economy.”
Stokes reflected upon her dedication to the challenge.
“During the challenge, my parents tried to reassure me that even if Awesome Water Solutions did not get selected, my hard work was appreciated and that the business would still be okay. After working for hours upon hours for six months on this challenge, I felt determined that we were going to win,” Stokes said. “I put everything I had into it. When we learned that we were going to receive the full $100,000, we were excited. It felt like I definitely achieved what I was working so hard for after all these months.”
Stokes highlights just how much winning the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge means to her.
“Within a year and a half of graduating with my degree, I earned this huge achievement,” Stokes said. “I’m thankful for everything that led me up to this point.”
Stokes expressed her sincerest appreciation to all of those who helped her in this challenge.
“I would like to thank my parents for giving me a chance to work for them and show them what I could bring to the table,” Stokes said. “I want to thank the WT Enterprise Center, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, the judges, and everybody that was involved. Their faith in my business plan and my family’s business allowed us this opportunity to win this money.”
Stokes goes on to give special thanks to West Texas A&M University.
“I want to thank my college. Everything I utilized when creating the business plan, I learned from what they taught me,” Stokes said. “I definitely appreciate my degree. I think it was worth it. It certainly helped me with this challenge. I’m proud of myself and my education.”
For more information about Awesome Water Solutions, call them at (806) 237-6075 or visit them at 14275 Sundown Trail, Amarillo, TX 79118.
*** Sections of this article were provided by wtamu.edu and awesomewatersolutions.com.