Check Out These Latest Small Business Awards and Contests

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

Also, 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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Tibbetts Awards 2012
Enter by January 31, 2012

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for its Tibbetts Awards, recognizing small-business research and innovation. The awards recognize companies that have taken part in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Three awards will be given, one for companies that have participated in the SBIR/STTR programs, one for individuals who advocate on behalf of the programs, and a third “Hall of Fame” award recognizing companies that have a track record of success in research, innovation and product commercialization within the SBIR or STTR program.


Small Business Book Awards
Enter by January 31, 2012

Small Business Book AwardsNominations are now open for the 4th Annual Small Business Book Awards. They recognize business books of special interest to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Last year there were 106 books nominated and 41,000 votes cast by the community.

This year, over 100 books have already been nominated with over 2 weeks to go. Books published between November 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011 are eligible.

You can nominate one book – or as many books as you like, and anyone can nominate. Authors, you are encouraged to nominate your own book. Publishers and publicists can also nominate books.  Book lovers — you can nominate, too!


PA Tech Awards 2012
Enter by February 1, 2012

Nominations for winners in eight categories will be accepted on the event’s new website in a unique, open format. Every submitted nomination in every category can be viewed immediately by visitors to the site and shared to social media channels, delivering increased global visibility for all nominees. The annual gala on March 30, 2012 celebrates and honors the brightest technology leaders and innovators from across the state.


The Next Teen Tycoon Contest
Enter by February 3, 2012

Vertical Response is searching for the country’s most promising teen entrepreneurs with the “Next Teen Tycoon” online video contest.

The contest is open to teens between 13 and 18 years old who have their own business or a viable business idea. The top three contest winners will receive prizes totaling more than $10,000 in worth. They include one grand prize winner, who will receive $4,000 in “seed cash” to help him/her launch or grow the business, and a trip to the 2012 TEDxTeen conference in New York. Two second place winners will win $2,000 in “seed cash” each.


2012 Small Business Strategy Award
Enter by February 10, 2012

If you have been in business at least five years, have annual revenues of less than $5 million and have realized success from a specific strategy you’ve implemented within the past two years, you are encouraged to apply for the coveted 2012 Small Business Strategy Award.

The winner will be announced at the Seventh Annual Small Business Summit in New York City on March 6, 2012.


Fulton County PA Excellence in Small Business Award
Enter by February 17, 2012

The Awards Committee of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is accepting nominations of local businesses for the 2011 Excellence in Small Business Award. The award will be presented at the Chamber-Tourism’s Award Celebration. The category provides public recognition for the accomplishments of small businesses, those employing ten or fewer full-time employees. This category requires demonstration of growth, overall stability, a positive community image, leadership and civic involvement. Nominees do not have to be a member of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, but must be a Fulton County business.


Connecticut Innovations TechStart Fund
Apply by February 22, 2012

The TechStart Fund was created to spur technology innovation at its very earliest stage. The fund provides entrepreneurial or student teams with initial capital so they can determine whether a technology concept and business are viable and whether future funding can be obtained to launch a new business. Teams applying for TechStart funding will need to participate in a 10-week program, during which they will be provided with mentors and various professional resources offering strategic guidance in launching a new business. The initial 10-week pilot program will be held at CTech@Science Park at Yale in New Haven and will begin in March 2012.

See website for more details and entry requirements.


Office Depot’s Small Business Makeover Contest
Enter by February 27, 2012

The Small Business Makeover contest is designed to help small business owners augment or adjust their business in order to save time, grow and prosper in 2012 and beyond. The contest will award three small businesses a makeover from Office Depot, which includes a one-on-one financial coaching session with Jean Chatzky, office furniture, and supplies featuring Jean’s line of Mead financial organization products, available exclusively at Office Depot.

Small businesses can enter the contest by visiting Office Depot’s Facebook page and submitting, in 100 words or less, why their small business is in need of a makeover.


The Amazing Entrepreneur
Enter by February 29, 2012

The 2nd Annual Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition is an initiative by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to foster new business development in Gwinnett County, GA. The contest is open to individuals who own or manage a small business, which has been in operation less than 36 months, in Gwinnett County.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $2500 cash to be used solely for the business entering the contest, a trip to Sage Software’s Customer Conference in Nashville, TN (airfare, hotel stay, conference fees), one-year membership to Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, one-year participation in the Chamber’s Gwinnett Business Institute program ($180 value), a consultation with an attorney from Arnall Golden Gregory ($2500 value), and research assistance from Chamber’s economic development department


2012 Small Business Online Marketing Contest
Enter by February 29,2012

For the second year, Chicago-area small businesses are being recognized for their marketing success. Constant Contact kicked off the 2012 Small Business Online Marketing Contest today in partnership with the Chicago City Treasurer’s Office. The contest will award more than $12,000 in cash and prizes to businesses submitting winning entries in “Best Business Email Marketing” and “Best Overall Users of Social Media” categories, including “Rookie Awards.”


CoolCalifornia Small Business Award
Enter by February 29, 2012

The CoolCalifornia Small Business Awards recognize California small businesses that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, promote climate friendly practices and integrate the tools on into their business operations.

There are two award categories: CoolCalifornia Small Business of the Year Award, and CoolCalifornia Climate Leader Award.


Brother Small Business Grant Program
Enter by March 2, 2012

StartupNation has collaborated with Brother, a leader in small business technology, to bring you
the 2012 Brother Small Business Grant Program.

The grant program will award a total of $25,000 to five small business owners who submit the most original and creative business plan.

Verizon California Small Business Makeover Contest
Enter by March 2, 2012

Verizon wants to hear about Southern California small businesses’ technology challenges and will award a business makeover worth more than $5,000 to the company that best tells its story. Register and submit an essay, of no longer than 500 words, describing the technology challenges facing your business. Small businesses also have the opportunity to win a $500 American Express Gift Card if they view quick, informative videos about Verizon Small Business solutions on the contest website.

A panel of judges will determine the grand-prize winner and four semifinalists. The grand prize consists of $2,000 in cash; an HP Laptop; a Verizon Wireless 4G LTE LG Revolution Smart Phone; the Intuit Website Design Services Package; and Mobile Pay and Google Personal Support for Google Products. The semifinalists will each receive custom business-technology recommendations valued at $125.


Staples Give Your Small Business the Push it Needs Contest
Enter by March 14, 2012

Staples has launched its “Give Your Small Business the Push It Needs” contest, which will offer five small businesses up to $50,000 in free television advertising in their home market.
Small businesses can enter the contest by submitting a 15-second video about their company on by March 14. Five winners will be chosen to receive 15 seconds of advertising in a 30-second Staples television ad to run in their local market. Winners can have $50,000 in advertising or $40,000 in advertising and $10,000 in cash.


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.

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.