New List of Awards and Contests for SMBs

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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Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition
Enter by March 10, 2011

The Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition sponsored by CEO Business Centers in partnership with the Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and the Small Business Development Center is open to individuals who currently own and manage a new small business in Gwinnett County. The grand prize includes one free year in an office at a CEO Business Center site, a one-year Gwinnett Chamber membership, participation in the Chamber’s small business program, and thousands of dollars in in-kind professional services and accounting software. Finalists will receive certificates for services at CEO Business Centers.


Uprinting’s Small Business Sweepstakes
Enter by March 13, 2011

“Like” Uprinting on Facebook for a chance to win a 16GB Apple iPad with WiFi to help you manage your business on the go and $1,000 worth of printing to market and promote your business.


Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
Enter by March 15, 2011

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is an international business plan competition that every year recognizes five female entrepreneurs, one for each region: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Each Laureate receives coaching support for a full year, in addition to $20,000 in funding and an exclusive trophy designed by Cartier.

The business project to be considered for The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is as follows:
– An original for-profit business creation
– In the startup phase (at least one year old, no older than three)
– The main leadership position must be filled by a woman


BLOB – Best Locally Owned Business Awards
Enter by March 18, 2011

The 2011 BLOB Awards are hosted by Fresno Regional Independent Business Alliance (FRIBA), a group of local business owners who have joined together to educate the community about why it is important to support locally owned and independent businesses. See website for details and voting categories.


Miami Herlad Business Plan Challenge
Enter by March 25, 2011

Have you hatched a great idea for a business? If your business is less than 2 years old or exists only on paper, you can enter the 13th Annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.

The competition has three tracks: A Community Track open to anyone in South Florida; an FIU Track open to students and alumni of the university; and a High School Track for grades 9-12.

Panels of judges will select the three best business plans in each track based on both the quality of the idea and the submitted plan. Readers will be able to vote online at for a “People’s Pick” winner in the community and FIU tracks.


Small Business Excellence Awards
Enter by March 25, 2011

Each year the Chamber recognizes the accomplishments and innovation found in the small business segment of our business community at its Small Business Excellence Awards. This year’s awards will be presented on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Companies can apply for consideration in two of the following categories:

• Emerging Business of the Year – must be in business five years or less
• Minority Business of the Year – must be a certified MBE
• Nonprofit of the Year – must submit a 501(c) form
• 10 Under 10 – 10 businesses with fewer than 10 employees
• Small Business of the Year – 1 to 50 employees
• Small Business of the Year – 51 to 250 employees
• Community Involvement Award


Where Will .com or .net Take Your Business?
Enter by March 28, 2011

Verisign is hosting an international contest for small businesses to compete for a chance to win $25,000 (USD). The contest asks small businesses to address the question, “Where will .com or .net take your business?” Entrants can visit or to submit photos and essays addressing the contest theme.


Brother Share Your Bigger Picture Contest
Enter by March 29, 2011

The “Share Your Bigger Picture” contest offers individuals an opportunity to win a $10,000 business grant or one of five weekly prize packs including a $500 Apple® gift card and a Brother MFC-J6710DW inkjet all-in-one printer with 11″ x 17″ capabilities. Participants can enter two ways: commenting on the contest blog or retweeting messages on Twitter. For more details visit the contest website.


Ninth Annual American Business Awards
Enter by March 31, 2011

The American Business Awards are the only all-encompassing awards program that honors outstanding performances in the American workplace. All organizations operating in the U.S. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, large and small. The 2011 awards will honor work since the beginning of 2010, and the awards will be announced on June 20 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Nominations are accepted in various categories including management awards, public relations awards, marketing awards, new product awards, HR awards, IT awards, website awards and more. New categories in 2011 include Executive of the Year – Health Products & Services and Best New Product or Service of the Year – Health Products & Services, as well as more than 40 new Marketing Campaign of the Year categories.


R U Gen Z (Generation Zuckerberg) Video Contest
Enter by April 1, 2011

Internet entrepreneur Marc Ostrofsky has launched the R U Gen Z (Generation Zuckerberg) video contest offering over $10,000 in prizes. The R U Gen Z video contest encourages students and struggling job seekers who have the drive and desire to be their own boss to embrace their Zuckerberg-like passion for entrepreneurship. In these videos, students are invited to express frustrations with today’s economy and tout the benefits of being one’s own boss.

Videos can be submitted online immediately at the contest website and will be judged by a group of panelists made up of students from the University of Houston’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. The first-place winner will receive $5,000; $2,500 will go to the second-place winner, and numerous other $1,000 prizes will be distributed.


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 startup and early stage companies. Winners and finalists in the 2010 Competition shared more than $195,000 in prizes.


Small Business Advocate of the Year Award
Enter by April 15, 2011

Each year, the CalChamber recognizes several small business owners who have done an exceptional job with their local, state and national advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses.

The CalChamber will recognize the award winners at its Business Summit on June 1 in Sacramento. The nomination form is available on the CalChamber website or may be requested from the Local Chamber Department at .


AMD Visionary of the Year Awards
Enter by April 30, 2011

AMD has announced its first ever VISIONary of the Year Awards, honoring innovation in the three passion categories of Foodie, Photography and Entrepreneurship.

Eligible voters can vote and enter to win one-of-a-kind category prizes, including the ultimate culinary trip to New York City (Foodie category), a $4,000 technology shopping spree (Entrepreneur category), a $4,000 camera (Photographer category), as well as AMD’s $10,000 grand prize.


2011 Small Business Awards
Enter by May 20, 2011

In its 6th year, The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards honors the achievements and accomplishments of the 500,000+ small businesses throughout the tri-state area. In addition to the Best of the Year Categories, the New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards will honor 9 small businesses for their accomplishments and best practices.


The Conway Center for Family Business Awards
Enter by August 4, 2011

The Conway Center for Family Business Awards Program was established in 1998 to recognize excellence in family business and has honored more than 115 Central Ohio family businesses during its first 11 years.

Since the 2009 awards, the program honors recipients in categories consistent with the success and longevity of a family business: leadership, planning, communication, support and community service. For more details see the website.


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. )

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.


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. Earlier in my career, I really got a push from this sort of business competition. What a fantastic resource – thanks for putting this together for us!

  2. Thanks for another great list of awards and contests…

    It looks like lots of of small business owners will be receiving cool awards soon.

    The Franchise King®