Contests, Competitions and Awards for Small Businesses

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

If you’ve entered and won a contest or award listed here, let us know so we can share your news.

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Small Business, Big Innovation Competition
Enter by September 5, 2011

Facing tough times, many entrepreneurs did something creative, imaginative or cutting-edge with their business models, which allowed them to survive and thrive. The Wall Street Journal invites eligible businesses to apply by telling them about the challenge your business faced; the innovative solution you put in place; and the significant milestone – such as vastly improved revenue or expansion into new markets – that has resulted.

All entries that match the criteria will be featured on this blog. Readers will vote for their favorite stories and a panel of judges will select 10 finalists – and an ultimate winner – who will be featured in the Journal’s Small Business report, which publishes Nov. 21, 2011


Intuit Entrepreneur Day 2011
Enter by September 9, 2011

Intuit is scouting for start-ups and entrepreneurs to partner with. Whether it’s mobile, cloud computing, or data analytics technology, Intuit is looking for companies that have a solution that will support its mission to improve the financial lives of its millions of customers. Those companies who apply and then get selected will meet with Intuit business leaders and have one-on-one time to demo their products.

The deadline to apply is September 9th and the actual event with Intuit’s founder, Scott Cook, and CEO, Brad Smith, along with many other influential executives, will be held on October 6th at Intuit’s Mountain View, Calif. campus.


America’s Favorite Small Business
Enter by September 11, 2011

Dell, MasterCard and Microsoft are teaming together to search for “America’s Favorite Small Business.” This 13- week contest invites small businesses to submit a short video explaining why they should be America’s Favorite Small Business (AFSB) and claim the $75,000 prize package.


Cleantech Open Idea Competition
Enter by September 12, 2011

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition, and they’re looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world.

Enter to win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business and grow your idea. If your idea beats out the competition in the National Competition, you get to represent your country as a Global Ideas finalist at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala on November 17, 2011, in San Francisco. There, your idea will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 2,500 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” winner.


Women Who Mean Business 2011
Enter by September 16, 2011

The Washington Business Journal announces the eighth annual Women Who Mean Business awards program. This award is designed to honor the region’s most influential businesswomen. We’re looking for women from every industry and profession; women who’ve made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for the rest of us and are leaving a mark on the Washington-area community.
Nominees must be female residents of the Washington area who are employed in the region.
A nominee should be an established business leader with a strong record of innovation in her field, outstanding performance in her business and/or a clear track record of meaningful community involvement.


Dream Big Grow Here Business Grant Contest
Enter by September 23, 2011

Northeast Iowa Business Network and MyEntre.Net, Iowa’s online community for Iowa entrepreneurs and small business, have announced the launch of the new “Dream Big, Grow Here” contest for small businesses in Northeast Iowa.
Applicants can submit a video or email about their business and share their dreams for how they would like to grow their Iowa company and what it means to them to be in business in Iowa.

Other visitors to Dream Big Grow Here will have the opportunity to vote on the ideas they like the best, with the winning entrepreneur will receive $5,000 for their business. Regional winners can then go on to compete for the grand prize of $10,000 against the other regional winners.


Enter by September 30, 2011

Project REV was launched in 2010 as a contest that gives small business owners a chance to receive a yearlong marketing makeover. Each participant is teamed up with a Deluxe marketing advisor and a business counselor from SCORE. At the kick-off event, the business owner will work with their advisor to analyze the business’s current marketplace situation and create a customized plan applying up to $15,000 in marketing products and services from Deluxe, including website design and hosting, branding, social media marketing, SEO, email marketing and more. See the website for more details.


Road Warrior 2.0 Challenge
Enter by October 6, 2011

Hyatt Place has launched the Road Warrior 2.0 Challenge, asking real-world business travelers to help redefine today’s Road Warrior for a chance to win a head-to-toe business traveler makeover. To enter the contest, visit and tell how you embody or define the modern day Road Warrior, and create an original, fun name for the modern day Road Warrior.

Weekly winners receive a free night at Hyatt Place, and a grand prize winner will win a complete head-to-toe business makeover to help this “Road Warrior 2.0” maximize their efficiency on the road, and have a little fun along the way.


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 and Contests Form (it’s free).

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.

1 Comment ▼

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. Green:Inspired:Art
    A corporate challenge to create art from re-cycled items!
    Date: Friday afternoon, September 23rd 2011 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Hosted by: The Arts and Business Council of NY
    Location: the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets – easily accessible by subway (A,C,D,1) or bus (M5,7,104) to Columbus Circle – 3 short blocks North from the stop.
    The Challenge: Design and build a thing of beauty using materials from the ultimate recycling center: New York City’s Materials for the Arts (MFTA). A refreshing opportunity to be creative and to showcase your commitment to supporting the environment.
    Business professionals with the help (if desired) of arts consultants will make a sculpture from recyclable goods. The piece should depict either something in the environment that is in danger, such as whales, or something that solves an issue, like a solar panel.
    In addition to raising awareness of a specific environmental issue, teams will seek to create something unique and beautiful, demonstrating that the things we throw away can be used to enhance rather than soil the environment.
    Teams: There will be five teams with four members each.
    Materials: Each team will have a sealed bag filled with recyclable items such as cans, glass and plastic bottles, tubing, and more. Each team will also receive sketching materials for planning, and basic materials to assemble its sculpture: duct tape, string, and pipe cleaners.
    Program: Each team will have two hours to complete their piece for presentation.
    Judging: David MacFadden, Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design, our esteemed judge, will choose the winner.
    Winning Entry: The winning entry will be displayed at Union Square Café, 21 East 16th Street.
    Arts and Business Council of New York is a non-profit that creates partnerships between the business and non-profit arts communities of New York City.