November 25, 2015

Latest Small Business Awards and Contests

This week’s list of contests has some great opportunities for recognition and cash prizes. This list of competitions and awards for small businesses is brought to you every other week as a community service by Small Business Trends and

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B2B Social Media Integration Case Study Challenge
Enter by March 12, 2010

This is your chance to join an expert panel at the B2B Forum session. How did your company boost ROI by integrating social media into your marketing strategy? Tell us your success story, and you could be telling it to the B2B marketing world in May. Complete this form and tell us your story!

The winner will become a panelist in the “Case Study Swap Meet! Proven Success Stories Integrating Social Media into Overall Strategy” session at the B2B Forum taking place on May 4-5 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.


The Black Enterprise Small Business Awards
Enter by March 16, 2010

The Black Enterprise Small Business Awards were created to provide special recognition to African American entrepreneurs who embody the Black Enterprise entrepreneurial spirit. They are looking for companies and individuals bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets.

Winners will be announced at a special awards luncheon in Atlanta on May 17, 2010 at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference. Official Award Submission PDF Form is found here.


Limitless VC Contest
Enter by March 16, 2010

One remarkable entrepreneur will receive 50% of the BizBreak app profits + $3,000! + mentoring from top entrepreneurs like Mike Michalowicz, Andrew Warner, Ross Kimbarovsky, Cameron Johnson, and Yanik Silver.

Submissions are made in the form of a video to youtube describing your business and what you will do with the money. 10 videos will be chosen for the finals which will be voted on by the public. See site for details and rules.


The New Deal for Small Business
Enter by March 19, 2010

Create a video of five minutes of your business. Upload your video to YouTube then send the link to [email protected] Your video needs to feature you and your small business, as well as answer three questions:

* What does your business do?
* What makes you do what you do?
* What will you do with the money if you win?

First Place: $5,000, Second Place: $2,500, Third Place: $2,500. Additional details about terms and conditions can be found at the competition website.


The Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge
Enter by March 29, 2010

Have you hatched a great idea for a business? If your business is less than 1 year old or exists only on paper, you can enter our 12th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.

This year, we will have three tracks: one open to anyone in South Florida, an FIU track open to students, faculty, staff and alums of the university and a third one for high school students. Winners will be invited to a luncheon in their honor where they will meet with The Miami Herald’s business editors, reporters and judges, as well as a Hall of Fame luncheon hosted by FIU’s College of Business Administration.


The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

Enter by April 5, 2010

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, open to everyone, seeks to promote entrepreneurship and development of start-up and early stage companies. Winners and finalists in the 2010 Competition are expected to receive more than $130,000 in prizes.


Chicago City Treasurer’s Office 2010 Business Plan Competition
Enter by April 5, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

The Business Plan competition is sponsored by Harris Bank, with Chicago Community Ventures as the managers of the competition. There will be ten semifinalists selected. Business plan summaries will be accepted from those hoping to start up a small business, and existing small businesses owners hoping to reach their next level. Business summaries must be submitted on the official competition template available here. Cash prizes will include – 1st Place $5,000; 2nd place $3,500; and a $1,500 3rd place prize. A new business mentoring program will assist all the finalists.


It’s Time for Business with Office 2010 Video Contest
Enter by April 22, 2010

Small and startup businesses in Washington state can enter to win $10,000 in the “It’s Time for Business with Office 2010 Video Contest” launched by the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Microsoft Corporation.

To participate, contestants must go to and download a free trial version of Office 2010 to use in their business. Any business or organization with seven or fewer full-time employees is eligible, so long as they have a Washington state business license and comply with all contest rules. The winning entry will receive a $10,000 grand prize. Best foreign language video and best video by a woman-owned business will receive $1,000 prizes.


Cringely’s (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour
Enter now through Mid-April 2010 (check site for details)

Robert X. Cringely, author of the technology blog “I, Cringely” (, has launched a plan to restart America called “Cringely’s (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour.” People are invited to nominate startup companies in six different categories, discuss them, and vote for favorites on a special website created just for the tour.

After about six weeks of collecting nominations and reviewing candidates, Cringely will announce the top 24 companies. He will then take the show on the road this summer, with a camera crew, to visit all 24 companies to learn about the businesses and the entrepreneurs who started them. Ultimately, the stories he collects will become a 12-hour reality TV series to be broadcast on a major cable network.


2010 Inc. 500/5000
Enter by April 30, 2010

The Inc. 500/5000 list is a distinguished editorial award, a celebration of innovation, a network of entrepreneurial leaders, and an effective public relations showcase. The Inc. 500|5000 ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. All 5,000 honoree companies are individually profiled on The top 500 are featured in the September issue of Inc. magazine.


verizonThe Better Way Challenge from Verizon
Enter by May 31, 2010

Sign up for a free 30-Day Trial of the Verizon Collaboration Center and be automatically entered to win a Flip MinoHD video camera; 15 per month will be given away randomly to those who sign up for the trial.

There is also a separate video contest: submit a video describing the challenges you face as a small business getting your whole team on the same page and you’ll receive an additional six months of the Verizon Collaboration Center for free.

If Verizon and Cisco select your video, you could be entered to win an exclusive business consultation to help you take your business to the next level in one of these two prize levels:

Grand Prize: An exclusive two-hour business consultation with entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki plus a $2,000 reward card.

2nd and 3rd Place Prizes: An exclusive one-hour business consultation with the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group – an organization that provides customers with innovative approaches to complex business opportunities – and a $1000 reward card.

Click here for official rules and to enter.


The Shopify Build a Business Contest
Runs January 1 – June 30, 2010

This contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age and starting a new business. To enter you must open a new store on The winner will be selected based on their two best selling months between January 1st, 2010 and June 30th, 2010. The store with the two best selling months will win $100,000. Achieve the same for your store category and win $5,000 as a runner up prize.


The Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
Opens for Entries July 2010

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition and is looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world. Just for telling your idea, you could win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business to grow your idea! Winners of each individual National Competition, get to represent your country as a Global IDEAS finalist at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala on November 16, 2010 in San Francisco.

There, your idea will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs, sponsoring companies, corporations, members of academia, press, and others interested in hearing your ideas and getting involved.

The crowd will vote via text message for the “People’s Choice” and you could win $100,000 in marketing support, legal advising, conferencing services and more to help launch your business!

The competition will open in July 2010. Sign up to receive the newsletter to get updates.


iNGie Award from Cabinet NG
Enter by August 15, 2010

Cabinet NG will recognize our customers who have best used CNG-SAFE software products to improve their bottom line and at the same time operate their businesses in a more environmentally friendly manner. “iNGie” awards will be presented at the 2010 Collaborate Conference in Huntsville (dates and location to be announced soon).


* The first 20 companies to apply receive 2 free passes to 2010 Conference in Huntsville (approximately $500 value).
* Winners get a $1,000 credit which can be applied toward annual maintenance or CNG products.
* Winners will also receive an Amazon Kindleâ„¢.
* Recognition at the 2010 Conference dinner.

Award categories and online applications can be found here.

To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.

If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Small Business Event Form (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your award or contest.)

Please note: The descriptions provided here are for convenience only and are NOT the official rules. ALWAYS read official rules carefully at the site holding the competition, contest or award.

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Laura Leites

Laura Leites Laura Leites plans and manages events for clients through her company, L2 Event Production. Laura's projects include the Small Business Influencer Awards, The Small Business Summit, and many of SmallBizTechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour.

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