A Summer Full of Contests for Small Companies

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.

We’re getting a great response to the SMB Influencers Awards we recently launched with Smallbiztechnology.com. The nomination period runs through July 8, so there is still time to nominate someone (or yourself!)

Congratulations to iolo technologies, Management Team of the Year winner at the American Business Awards this week!
If you’ve entered and won a contest or award listed here, let me know so we can share your news.

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The Mission to Find the Better Tablet Sweepstakes
Enter by June 26, 2011

Win a limited edition Toshiba Thrive tablet in this four week contest. the “missions” change weekly so check website for entry details and rules.


Love a Local Business Grant Competition
Enter by June 30, 2011 (Contest runs through March 31, 2012)

Intuit is awarding over $1 Million in small business grants. The Love A Local Business competition lets fans, including customers, vendors, employees, and the community, determine who deserves some love – in the form of small business grants. Each month Intuit is giving away $25,000 to a deserving local business, and in June will be awarding $50,000 in grants to businesses in the two cities that community voters love the most. The contest periods will run every three months. See website FAQs for details and rules.


SpareFoot Adventures in Storage
Entries currently open

Guess an item inside SpareFoot’s mystery storage unit to win $100. There is currently no deadline set to enter the contest, and participants can simply tweet to submit guesses (@SpareFoot). They may also submit guesses on the Facebook page or YouTube trailer video comments. One guess per person, winner gets $100 VISA gift card. Two winners already chosen, one more winner will be chosen.


Quest Fore Sweepstakes
Enter by June 30, 2011

For its 35th anniversary, marketing communications firm Quest Fore is holding a sweepstakes to give away $15,000 in marketing services. The $15,000 in free marketing services can be used for anything from research, strategic planning and advertising by Quest Fore to interactive services provided by Quest Fox Interactive.


The Jimdo Video Contest
Enter by June 30, 2011

It’s much easier to show people how to do things with a video. Has anyone ever helped you out with your JimdoPage? You can give back to the Jimdo community – by making a “how to” Jimdo video of your own. Show off your Jimdo skills to the world, help other users get their sites off the ground, and add to the community in one fell swoop. Prizes including an Apple MacBook Pro, Aipteck camcorder and more and will be awarded to the best videos.


Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Competition
Enter by June 30, 2011

Ten winners will be paired with advisers and resources for growing their businesses and they’ll get to participate in a customized executive-leadership program. In addition, winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum 2011 in Palm Springs, California, in November.

The contest is being run in collaboration with the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the Committee of 200, National Association of Women Business Owners and Babson College.


HP Smart Color Sweepstakes
Enter by July 13, 2011

HP is giving away an HP Printer each day until July 13th, and one grand prize winner will win $10,000. Answer the question “What would your business do with $10,000?”
See website for entry details.


Flights. Camera. Action. Video Upload Contest
Enter by July 15, 2011

Success is in the air! Upload a short video about how flying benefits your business – and you could win up to 50 tickets for your company and exposure to thousands of potential customers. The first 200 businesses to upload a video online will also receive 300 Business ExtrAA points. See website for entry rules and details. Sponsored by American Airlines and SCORE.


pbSmart Connections Small Business Makeover Contest
Enter by July 19, 2011

Pitney Bowes wants to give your business a communications makeover. This national contest was designed to help small businesses improve customer communications to better position themselves for growth. Five Grand Prize winners will receive a customer communications plan makeover, valued at $10,000. The Grand Prize winners will receive a full-day consultation and planning session with renowned small business experts. Together with a team of Pitney Bowes communication specialists, the experts will assess each Grand Prize winner’s existing communications and provide custom coaching to develop a program that suits their unique needs. They will also receive one year of free access to the pbSmart suite of customer communications tools, including pbSmartPostage™, cloud-based postage for shipping and mailing, and pbSmart™ Connections for email marketing. In addition, 20 First Prize winners will receive one year of free access to the pbSmart suite of products, valued at $2,500, and have their businesses featured as part of the pbSmart™ Essentials online community.


10th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards
Enter by July 31, 2011

To be eligible for a Chicago Innovation Award, the product, service or company nominated must be:

  • Introduced within the past three years, and
  • Headquartered in the greater Chicago region, including the northern half of Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and northwest Indiana.

Through many events occurring throughout the year, the Chicago Innovation Awards not only recognize nominees and winners, but also provide valuable business networking and development opportunities; learning experiences through mentoring, scholarships and panel discussions; and educational courses in innovation.


Recycle Your Business Cell Phone Apple iPad2 Giveaway
Enter by July 31, 2011

e-Cycle’s Apple iPad2 Earth Day Giveaway was such a success, we are giving companies another opportunity to win simply by recycling your company cell phones. Businesses and organizations that recycle and/or sell their used mobile devices and cell phones through e-Cycle from now through July 31 will be entered into a random drawing for the chance to win one of four Apple iPad2s.


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.

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.


Avaya Small Business Innovators Contest
Enter by August 30, 2011

Do you have an idea that will change the way your business serves your customers? Innovation is the engine that makes every business more productive and helps it to grow. To enter Avaya’s Small Business Innovators contest, fill out their ROI tool and send them the results. Include how you would spend the savings over the next five years to innovate new ways to serve your customers, staff and suppliers. Grand prize of $50,000 worth of IP Office equipment and software and $5,000 cash. Five runner up prizes of $10,000 worth of IP Office equipment and software.


Supreme Studio Makeover Contest
Enter by August 31, 2011

MacMall’s second annual Supreme Studio Makeover Contest features $26K in total tech prizes for small businesses and creative studios, including highly sought after products such as: Maya 2012, Adobe CS5.5, HP Designjet large format printers, an HP 24″ DreamColor monitor, Microsoft Office for Mac and Apple Time Capsule storage units.


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 to 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, 2010 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 business women. 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.


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.