Awards and Contests for Growing Companies

Don’t miss these upcoming deadlines – especially our Small Business Strategy Award to be announced at the Small Business Summit on March 16th in NYC.
This list of contests, competitions and awards for small businesses is brought to you every other week by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com.
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sbs2010logo.jpgSmall Business Strategy Award at Small Business Summit 2010
Enter by March 1, 2010
Has your business set milestones and thrived in spite of the severe economic downturn? If so, we’d like to hear from you. We’re looking to honor one business with the Small Business Strategy Award 2010 to recognize entrepreneurial strategic excellence that has led to significant increased profits, expanded market and/or improved market position.
Our Award committee will select the three finalists and the winner will be recognized and receive the award at the Small Business Summit in New York City on March 16th.

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love_a_local_businessIntuit’s Love a Local Business Contest
Enter by March 3, 2010
In a nationwide effort to help support the growth of small businesses, Intuit is hosting the “Love a Local Business” sweepstakes. Fans of local small businesses can nominate their favorite hometown haunt, which will make them eligible for a drawing to win a $1,000 Intuit Growth Grant, which includes a $500 Visa gift card and $500 in Intuit business services, such as Intuit Websites and Web Listings. One of those five winning local businesses will receive a grand prize of $5,000!
In addition, each business that is nominated will appear on a custom Google Map displaying favorite businesses from across the country. The more nominations a business has, the more chances they have to win a grant. Intuit has already awarded $55,000 in small business grants, now it’s time to show support for your favorite neighborhood shop! Go to Love a Local Business for more information.

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B2B Social Media Integration Case Study Challenge

Enter by March 12, 2010
This is your chance to join an expert panel at the B2B Forum session. How did your company boost ROI by integrating social media into your marketing strategy? Tell us your success story, and you could be telling it to the B2B marketing world in May. Complete this form and tell us your story!
The winner will become a panelist in the “Case Study Swap Meet! Proven Success Stories Integrating Social Media into Overall Strategy” session at the B2B Forum taking place on May 4-5 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.

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black_enterprise_logo1.gifThe Black Enterprise Small Business Awards
Enter by March 16, 2010
The Black Enterprise Small Business Awards were created to provide special recognition to African American entrepreneurs who embody the Black Enterprise entrepreneurial spirit. They are looking for companies and individuals bringing new products to the forefront, redefining sales strategies, and discovering new and profitable markets.
Winners will be announced at a special awards luncheon in Atlanta on May 17, 2010 at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference. Official Award Submission PDF. Form is found here.

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ribusplan2010-150x45.jpgThe Rhode Island Business Plan Competition
Enter by April 5, 2010
The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, open to everyone, seeks to promote entrepreneurship and development of start-up and early stage companies. Winners and finalists in the 2010 Competition are expected to receive more than $130,000 in prizes.

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Chicago-BizPlan.jpgChicago City Treasurer’s Office 2010 Business Plan Competition
Enter by April 5, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
The Business Plan competition is sponsored by Harris Bank, with Chicago Community Ventures as the managers of the competition. There will be ten semifinalists selected. Business plan summaries will be accepted from those hoping to start up a small business, and existing small businesses owners hoping to reach their next level. Business summaries must be submitted on the official competition template available here. Cash prizes will include – 1st Place $5,000; 2nd place $3,500; and a $1,500 3rd place prize. A new business mentoring program will assist all the finalists.

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The Better Way Challenge from Verizon

Enter by May 31, 2010
Sign up for a free 30-Day Trial of the Verizon Collaboration Center and be automatically entered to win a Flip MinoHD video camera; 15 per month will be given away randomly to those who sign up for the trial.
There is also a separate video contest: submit a video describing the challenges you face as a small business getting your whole team on the same page and you’ll receive an additional six months of the Verizon Collaboration Center for free.
If Verizon and Cisco select your video, you could be entered to win an exclusive business consultation to help you take your business to the next level in one of these two prize levels:
Grand Prize: An exclusive two-hour business consultation with entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki plus a $2,000 reward card.
2nd and 3rd Place Prizes: An exclusive one-hour business consultation with the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group – an organization that provides customers with innovative approaches to complex business opportunities – and a $1000 reward card.
Click here for official rules and to enter.

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The Shopify Build a Business Contest

Runs January 1 – June 30, 2010
This contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age and starting a new business. To enter you must open a new store on Shopify.com. The winner will be selected based on their two best selling months between January 1st, 2010 and June 30th, 2010. The store with the two best selling months will win $100,000. Achieve the same for your store category and win $5,000 as a runner up prize.

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cleantech.gifThe Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
Opens for Entries July 2010
The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest clean technology business competition and we’re looking for the best clean technology ideas from around the world. Just for telling us your idea, you could win a prize package of services worth $100,000 to help you start a business to grow your idea! Winners of each individual National Competition, get to represent your country as a Global IDEAS finalist at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala on November 16, 2010 in San Francisco.
There, your idea will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 3,000 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” and you could win $100,000 in marketing support, legal advising, conferencing services and more to help launch your business!
The competition will open in July 2010. Sign up to receive our newsletter to get updates.

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ingies.gifiNGie Award from Cabinet NG
Enter by August 15, 2010
Cabinet NG will recognize our customers who have best used CNG-SAFE software products to improve their bottom line and at the same time operate their businesses in a more environmentally friendly manner. “iNGie” awards will be presented at the 2010 Collaborate Conference in Huntsville (dates and location to be announced soon).
Awards:
* The first 20 companies to apply receive 2 free passes to 2010 Conference in Huntsville (approximately $500 value).
* Winners get a $1,000 credit which can be applied toward annual maintenance or CNG products.
* Winners will also receive an Amazon Kindle™.
* Recognition at the 2010 Conference dinner.
Award categories and online applications can be found here.

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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 Form (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your award or contest.)
To find other small business awards, contests, competitions and grants, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.
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, Managing Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook