Don’t Miss These Small Business Contests and Awards

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We all know the Holidays are an expensive time of year.  Who couldn’t use some extra cash or goodies from a sweepstakes or contest or award?  Or simply stand to get some extra recognition from an award program, to give your business a boost?  Here’s our hand-picked list of small business sweepstakes, contests and awards.  Don’t miss!



The Dough to Grow Award
Enter by November 30, 2012

The recession has claimed thousands of small businesses in recent years. Valpak wants to do its part in fueling local business growth with the Dough to Grow Award.

The winner will receive $10,000 to help grow their business. Entrants do not need to be Valpak customers to nominate their business.


SMB Innovator AwardSMB Innovator Awards by
Enter by November 30, 2012

Are you a small business mover and shaker? The SMB Innovator Awards celebrate the trailblazers among today’s small business owners and recognize their courageous approaches to driving business success.

You could win $20,000 as the grand prize winner in this contest by As a top 10 winner, you may also have the opportunity to win $2,500 through a People’s Choice Award.


Weekend in Vegas – Dinner with Tony Hsieh
Enter by December 3, 2012

General Assembly is teaming with Thrillist to give one lucky winner (and a friend) round-trip domestic flights to Las Vegas, three-night stay in a hotel, a tour of Zappos HQ and Downtown Vegas, and dinner with Tony Hsieh (Zappos CEO and author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Delivering Happiness).


Plantronics SweepstakesCraziest Place You’ve Taken a Business Call
Enter by December 12, 2012

Plantronics is running a sweepstakes to support small businesses throughout this holiday season. To enter, share your story about the craziest spot you’ve ever taken a business call, for a chance to win the Marque 2™ Bluetooth® headset.

See Sponsored Post with Product Review Editor TJ McCue describing his strangest place for a call: Mt. Fuji, Japan!

Deadline: Dec. 12, 2012.  To share your story for a chance to win, go here:


Dell $100M Innovators Credit Fund

Dell has launched a $100 million Innovators Credit Fund, with the purpose of helping entrepreneurs “maximize potential for innovation, speed to market and job creation.” The credit fund will offer both funding and technology resources with IT support, depending on what each start-up needs.

To be eligible, you must have already received some angel funding or venture capital before you can apply. Start-ups can get up to 10% of its current funding or up to $150,000 with limited credit terms. See website for details and application.


The Big Reboot
Multiple Contests & Entry Dates

Toshiba, Intel and Staples have teamed up to help small businesses share their stories and win thousands of dollars in new technology. Throughout 2012, they will award $10,000 technology makeovers to American businesses and free Intel-powered Ultrabooks to the people who support them.

Categories include Powering Knowledge, Powering Innovation, Powering Service, Powering Products, and Powering Good. See website for details and entry guidelines.


Infusionsoft Battle of the Apps
Enter by December 31, 2012

Do you have a great idea for an Infusionsoft App, integration or plug-in that will enhance the Infusionsoft user experience? Then you have a shot at being crowned the Kick Apps Champion in the Battle of the Apps 2013. First prize is $10,000. See website for details.


Shopify Build-A-Business Competition
Enter by December 31, 2012

Shopify has teamed up with four world-class entrepreneurs to help you build a million-dollar business in just months. Come up with a product to sell, open your online store and pick a mentor. The Shopify community and your mentor will give you great advice and guidance along the way. At the end of the competition, the four stores that sell the most over a two month period will each win a $50,000 investment from their mentor.


2013 National Small Business Week Awards
Enter by January 3, 2013

The U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting awards for:

• National Small Business Person of the Year (chosen from among state award winners from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam)
• Phoenix Awards (recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery)
• Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
• Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
• The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence (recognizes large prime contractors who have used small businesses as suppliers and contractors)
• SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year (for recent graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) contracting program)
• Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Award (nominations of SBA-funded SBDC Service Centers)
• Women’s Business Center (WBCs) of Excellence Award (nominations of SBA-funded WBCs)
• Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award (nominations of SBA-funded Veterans Business Outreach Centers)

Enter online.  Or send your nomination directly to your local SBA District Office (find an office here).


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).

This list of awards and competitions is brought to you by Small Business Trends and

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.