November 30, 2015

Competitions and Awards for Growing Businesses

Our roundup this week has some great chances for SMBs to win recognition, cash prizes and business services.

This list of contests, 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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New Ideas Contest
Enter by September 20, 2010

Winners will be announced at the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 3. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 in seed money for his or her business idea, a scholarship to a FastTrac entrepreneurial training program, tickets to the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo and a Dream Team of Mentors to help cultivate the idea.

Five first place prizes of $2,500 will be awarded in the categories of Bio-Science, Software/Information Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Wild Card. Each winner will receive a scholarship to FastTrac and tickets to the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo. There will also be five $1,000 honorable mention prizes distributed in each category.


America’s Got Net Video Contest
Enter by September 30, 2010

This contest is is open to U.S.-based individuals, small businesses and nonprofit/charitable organizations that demonstrate the benefits of the open Internet.

Video entries will be judged by some of the Internet’s most influential celebrities; winners will receive a prize package containing an Amazon Kindle DX, Google Nexus One Phone, Slingbox PRO-HD, Skype mobile phone plus one year of Skype Unlimited World Calling, and a Sony bloggie. Small business and nonprofit winners will also win free advertising and promotion, the chance to be featured in an Open Internet Coalition ad campaign, and a VIP trip to Washington, DC, to meet with key decision-makers on the open Internet.


UPS Entrepreunerial Spirit Award

Enter by September 30, 2010
(note: open to Latin America and Caribbean only)

In an effort to recognize SMEs for their entrepreneurial spirit in demonstrating innovative ideas and practices that have resulted in a successful business, UPS has launched the “UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award” in Latin America. The three most innovative and successful SMEs across 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will have the opportunity to compete for more than US$50,000 in cash and Hewlett-Packard equipment by entering the contest, which runs from August 16th through September 30th. To register, companies can complete the entry form by visiting the official contest Web site at


2010 Annual KOSBE Awards
Enter by September 30, 2010

Every year, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) accepts entries for its Annual KOSBE Awards, from Kingsport Chamber members and nonmembers.


PITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition
Enter by October 1, 2010

Open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high-growth business ventures in Web 2.0 to mobile, from enterprise Web/mobile to consumer clean/biotech. Applying companies must be in the beta stage and have not received significant funding.
A handful of startups will be chosen to pitch live in San Francisco at the 4th Annual PITCH Night on November 4th, 2010. Previous years’ prizes included meetings with Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital), Tim Draper (Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and Esther Dyson (investor in companies such as Flickr, and 23andMe), as well as a host of startup-friendly services.


Startup Nation Homebased 100
Enter by October 1, 2010

The 2010 StartupNation Home-Based 100 will once again rank the best-performing home-based businesses across America in 10 distinct categories. To enter, you must be home-based, must have a website for your business, and some aspect of your business should fit at least one of the themes of the Top Ten categories.


Dotster’s Business Spotlight Contest
Enter by October 12, 2010

Enter Dotster’s video contest to win $1,000 and business promotion from Dotster. Second and third place prizes are $300 and $200 cash, and 10 finalists will receive one year of Web hosting and domain registration. See website for entry instructions.


British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest
Enter by October 21, 2010

As part of its Face to Face program, British Airways is holding an entrepreneurial competition, with the chance to win free international airline tickets to help you do business globally. Some 250 small business owners will win international airfare to anywhere British Airways flies. The top three video entrants will have the opportunity to present their pitches to a celebrity panel, and the grand prize winner gets 10 international airline tickets.

To enter, answer this question: “If you could travel to any city outside the United States to grow your business, where would you go and how would the trip help meet your business objectives?” Enter online here.


ACCO Brands Everyday Heroes Contest
Enter by October 31, 2010

What is an Everyday Hero? It’s a person who knows how to use his/her office tools to make things run smoothly; a person to whom everyone turns to pull it all together in a crunch; an individual who quietly gets the job done — often without being recognized. Everyday Heroes can enter the contest now at ACCO Brands will award a grand prize of $1,000 redeemable at office product dealers to one winner in each of three categories — business, home/home office and school.


Great Emerging Franchise Challenge
Enter by October 25, 2010

This challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs who are currently operating a business and have a vision of a wildly successful national franchise.  You must explain why your business is right for franchising and meet the following requirements:

1) Own an operating business for at least 12 months (sorry, no startups or “great ideas”)
2) Annual sales must exceed $250,000
3) US based company in good legal and tax standing
4) If you are currently a franchise owner, you must have less than 5 locations
5) Agree you will not argue with the judges decisions which are final

The winning business will be awarded over $50,000 in services from an all-star team of franchise professionals.


Show Us Your Office Contest from Regus
Enter by October 31, 2010

Contestants can enter a photo or video of their current, less-than-ideal workplace, and site viewers will be able to vote for the entry most deserving of a new office. The 10 entries with the most votes will proceed to the final round of judging. One lucky winner will receive a year of fully furnished, fully equipped office space at any of Regus’ more than 400 U.S. locations. Nine runner-ups will receive Virtual Office Plus packages from Regus, allowing them to work more productively on the go.


Constant Contact Developer Challenge
Enter by October 31, 2010

Design and submit an app for a chance to win prizes up to $15,000! Looking to attract innovative, functional and original applications to feature in the Constant Contact MarketPlace, Constant Contact is opening the opportunity to outside developers.


The Business Card Project
Open entry deadline is giving away more than $250,000 worth of design services and MOO products to 500 small businesses. Each winner will receive a one-time business card redesign by a professional design team and 50 free business cards from MOO. Check out a great “before and after” on the site.


The Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
Enter by October 2010

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 sharing your idea, you could win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business. Winners of each individual National Competition get to represent their country as Global IDEAS finalists 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. See the site for entry details, and sign up to receive the newsletter to get updates.

1red-horizontal-rule’s 10th Brithday iPad Giveaway
Enter by November 1, 2010

Enter to win one of 10 Apple iPads and enjoy special discounts from partners including Vistaprint, Dell, TelecomRush, Intuit and others.


DREAM BIG Small Business Award
Enter by January 7, 2011

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club, is designed to honor U.S. job creators and recognize their significant contributions as drivers of economic growth. The 2011 application will become available starting Tuesday, September 21, 2010. View the eligibility and criteria to learn more and check out the Application Process FAQs for tips on filling out the application.


Launch Lewiston-Auburn Maine Contest
Enter by January 2011

The Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council (LAEGC) and the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce have launched an entrepreneurial contest that has an ambitious goal of connecting with youth who have roots in the local community, and encouraging them to consider starting a business in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. The program, called Launch L-A!, features a contest inviting young entrepreneurs to submit a proposal to start a business in L-A.

The winning entrepreneur will receive an equity infusion of $10,000 to $20,000 in seed money, along with a number of in-kind services for a year, including business consulting, accounting services, legal fees, advertising agency services, rent and more — all provided by Chamber members. Runners-up may also receive in-kind services. See website for entry rules.


To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar. In addition, we also have a giveaways page; click to learn more about our small business giveaways section.

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 and Contests Form. (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to submit your award or contest for our review. )

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.

One Reaction

  1. So many competitions and so little time! 😉 I look forward to check out’s business card project.

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