Contests And Awards For Entrepreneurs

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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Hot Technology for Growing Businesses at Small Business Summit 2011
Enter by February 8, 2011

If you have a tech product that is stunningly hot and awesome, enter to have it demonstrated in front of a live audience of hundreds at the Sixth Annual Small Business Summit 2011 on March 8, 2011, in New York City.

The winning demos will also be videotaped and made available to a much larger audience online. 2010 Hot Tech Demo winners included Broadlook Technologies, Lexmark, ReTargeter, SugarSync, EZ Texting, Pixability and Slide Rocket. See submission form for details.


Cobb Chamber Small Business of the Year 2011
Enter by February 11, 2011

Applications are being accepted for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top 25 Small Businesses of the Year. Nominees must be for-profit businesses that are Cobb Chamber members. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 11. The 2011 Small Business of the Year will be selected from the top 25 businesses, and that business will participate in the state’s Small Business of the Year competition.


CoolCalifornia Small Business Award
NOTE: Entry deadline extended to February 11, 2011

The annual CoolCalifornia Small Business Award Program is administered by the California Air Resources Board. The program recognises small California businesses (under 100 employees) that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and taken action to reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions and made notable, voluntary achievements towards reducing their climate impact. The awards ceremony and reception will be held in early May 2011 in Sacramento.


The Workshop at Macy’s
Enter by February 11, 2011

The Workshop at Macy’s is a comprehensive retail vendor development program designed to educate, prepare and mentor high-potential multicultural and/or women-owned business owners on how to achieve and sustain growth in the retail industry. This once-a-year program is a 4.5-day training course for up to 20 participants, selected from applications submitted through this site.

The Workshop at Macy’s will provide you with:

  • An exclusive program located at Macy’s Herald Square corporate offices in New York City, designed by Macy’s senior-level merchants and learning and development experts
  • A unique learning opportunity with courses taught by retail experts and accredited faculty
  • Exposure to successful multicultural and women business owners
  • Interaction with experienced merchants, industry leaders and private brand specialists
  • An opportunity to network, collaborate and engage with fellow aspiring vendors


Intuit Collaboratory Challenges
Enter by February 15, 2011

The goal of this challenge is to simplify the collection and organisation of data by accountants.

Submit a solution that will maximise the number of inputs accountants receive upfront, simplify subsequent interactions and data collection, and keep all inputs for a given client engagement neatly organised so accountants can provide the best client service most efficiently.

If a winning idea is selected, the winner will receive $10,000 and potentially a follow-up meeting with Intuit product management executives.


31st Annual Small Business Awards
Enter by February 23, 2011

The Memphis Business Journal is now accepting nominations for the 31st Annual Small Business Awards. Past winners of Memphis Business Journal’s Small Business Awards have run the gamut from a hubcap retailer to a distributor of office and janitorial supplies.


Small Business Teaming Pilot Program
Apply by February 25, 2011

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers information on small business loans, grants, bonds and other financial assistance, but does not make loans directly. Now, SBA is accepting grant-funding proposals from qualified and well-established national organisations that are interested in providing training, guidance, counseling, mentoring and procurement assistance for small businesses in “teaming arrangements.” Established by Congress under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA’s new “Small Business Teaming Pilot” program allows “teams” in the form of a joint venture, or prime and subcontractor relationship.

SBA expects to make 10 to 20 grant awards in the range of $250,000 to $500,000, totaling up to $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2011.


New Year, New Office Contest
Enter by February 28, 2011

Contestants who own or work at a small business registered in the United States with 50 employees or less can enter to win a new OFM office chair, desk and storage unit by submitting a photo of their current office and a brief description of why they deserve a makeover. To enter, contestants must email [email protected] with a photo in JPEG format of their current office space and a brief paragraph explaining why they deserve to win. Then they must follow OFM on Facebook at Qualifying photos will then be posted on OFM’s Facebook page where contestants can encourage their friends, family, and coworkers to “like” their photo.


NEC’s $25,000 Technology Makeover
Enter by February 28, 2011

NEC wants to see how badly your small-to-medium business’s conference room needs a technology upgrade. Just fill out the registration form and submit a video of your business in need. NEC will choose five businesses as finalists, and then the voting is up to the public. Public voting will begin in March 2011.

The winner will be announced April 4,2011. And if you win, you get a choice of 25,000 in NEC products to outfit your office. Second-place through fifth-place winners will receive an E321, 32″ NEC LCD for their offices!


2011 Small Business Online Marketing Contest
Enter by February 28, 2011

The Chicago Treasurer’s Office is partnering with Constant Contact to offer over $10,000 in cash and prizes to businesses submitting the top two winning entries for best promotional practices in two categories: Best Business Email Marketing and Best Overall Use of Social Media.


New England Innovation Awards
Enter by February 28, 2011

This award recognises the intrinsic value that innovation possesses in driving the New England economy. SBANE utilizes its highly competitive Innovation awards program to showcase technology-driven enterprises that are potentially “game changers” in their marketplace niche. Application here.


Small Business of the Year Awards
Enter by March 1, 2011

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Awards is the business community’s way of recognising the outstanding work of its peers. The Awards process is of, for and by the Members. Members nominate one another, a blue ribbon panel of previous winners select the best, and all nominees are congratulated and recognised at the celebration in May attended by over 350 peers. See website for entry criteria.


Washington Best Places to Work 2011
Enter by March 1, 2011

Nominations are now open for the Best Places to Work awards from Washington Business Journal. Each year the program honours 50 companies that are the most successful in building enjoyable and meaningful work environments for their employees.


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 centre 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.


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 — it is completely free to submit your award or contest for our review. )

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.

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