11 Great Awards and Contests for Entrepreneurs





Welcome to this week’s list of contests and competitions. Note that there are quite a few deadlines coming up in the next few days and weeks!

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 Smallbiztechnology.com.


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PC Mall Small Business Network Supreme Office Makeover Contest
Enter by November 30, 2010

The PC Mall Small Business Network Supreme Office Makeover contest is targeted towards small businesses with one to 100 employees and runs until November 30, 2010. Featuring a prize valued up to $17,500 for businesses with 11 to 100 employees and a prize valued up to $7,000 for businesses with one to 10 employees, the Makeover includes PCs, notebooks, printers, small business networking equipment, backup software and more.

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Love a Local Business Hiring Grant Competition
Enter through December 2010

Enter by submitting a few sentences about why you love serving your customers and community. Each month between October and December 2010, winners of a $25,000 Intuit Hiring Grant will be chosen by popular vote on http://lovealocalbusiness.com. Judges will review the three monthly winners and choose a grand prize winner of an Intuit Hiring Grant worth $50,000.

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21st Annual Holiday Spirit Award
Enter by December 1, 2010

Do you know an Orange County business owner who is generous, kind, cheerful and goes the extra mile all year long?
Nominate him or her for the 21st annual Holiday Spirit Award.

The award gives recognition to local business owners who don’t get many accolades for being good to their employees, generous to local charities and always cheerful to their customers.

Send some details of the nominee’s year-round spirit — specific examples help — to me at jnorman@ocregister.com or by snail mail to Jan Norman, Orange County Register, 625 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana 92701.

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Marketing Sherpa Email Awards 2011
Enter by December 3, 2010

MarketingSherpa’s annual Email Marketing Awards are back for another year of inspiration. Nominate your best e-mail-related campaigns from 2010 for your chance to have:

o Your entry published in the MarketingSherpa Email Awards Winners’ Showcase
o Recognition at MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit in Las Vegas
o Campaign featured in a MarketingSherpa newsletter
o A badge to display on your website

This year’s entry categories:
o Best triggered e-mail or autoresponder series
o Best integration with other channels
o Best e-mail list growth campaign
o Best personalization/segmentation strategy
o Best e-mail newsletter for marketing purposes
o Best innovation

Click here for the submission form.

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Small Business Book Awards – 3rd Annual
Online – vote by December 15, 2010

The 3rd Annual Small Business Book Awards by SmallBizTrends.com are now open. The Book Awards celebrate books for small businesses and entrepreneurs. And since most such books are also written by entrepreneurs and small business owners, the Awards recognize their work. Ten winners will be named in the 2010 Book Awards, based on the number of votes. Vote for your favorites. You may vote once every day,  per IP address. Vote for as many books as you wish. Currently there are 65 books entered in the Awards. If your favorite book is not there and it meets the rules, you can also submit it.

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Extreme Payroll Stories
Enter by December 15, 2010

This contest awards participants with free payroll services for sharing their stories about how they’ve processed payroll under extreme circumstances.

To enter the contest, small business owners and small business employees who process payroll can submit their “Extreme Payroll” stories to the official contest site, and encourage family, friends and colleagues to vote for their extraordinary experience. The participant who submits the story that receives the most votes wins free payroll service from SurePayroll for one year. The participant who submits the story with the second-highest number of votes will receive free payroll service for three months.

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New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition
Enter by December 20, 2010

The New York Public Library, with its sponsor, Citi Foundation, announces the New York StartUP! 2011 Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs with cash prizes totaling over $30,000. The second annual New York StartUp! gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to bolster their business acumen. Competition is open to those who are 18 years of age or older; live in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island as a legal resident or U.S. citizen; and wish to start a business in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island.
1st Place Award: $15,000. 2nd Place Award: $ 7,500. 3rd Place Award: $ 5,000. 4th Place Award: $ 1,500. 5th Place Award: $ 1,500.

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DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year 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. View the eligibility and criteria at the website to learn more and check out the Application Process FAQs for tips on filling out the application.

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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.

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The CITI Foundation Business Plan Contest
Enter by February 1, 2011

For Start-up and Existing Businesses-Put your ideas on paper to find out if you have a viable business and compete to win cash prizes. Eligible candidates must attend at least one of the following workshops by February 1, 2011: How to Write a Business Plan; Understanding Your Small Business Financial Report Card; or Boot Camp – CORE Four Business Planning Course.

All registration forms and business plans must be received by February 1, 2011. Please review the checklist on the website for all required information. Or call (312) 673-3462 or e-mail sbdcduman@jvschicago.org.

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Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2011
Enter by April 4. 2011

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 shared more than $195,000 in prizes.

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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.

3 Comments ▼

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.

3 Reactions
  1. Wow, thanks for the list. I only qualify to enter two of them, but that’s two more entries than I had before, right?

  2. Exactly, Brice – good luck and please don’t forget to let us know if you win!

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