SMB Competitions, Awards and Contests

There are some great contests and competitions going on for growing companies over the next few months. Don’t wait till summer is over to think about it – there are some deadlines coming up soon.
This list of contests, competitions and awards is brought to you by Small Business Trends and


secondchance.JPGSecond Chance
Enter by August 23, 2010
Second Chance is a 7-part web series on that will feature 4 entrepreneurs, whose first attempts at having their own business failed. They will compete against each other in challenges for a second chance to start a new business. During each episode, the entrepreneurs will be given a fake business concept that will test the skills that contributed to the failure of their previous companies.
Along with the $150,000, the Second Chance winner will have the opportunity to present their business concept to a team of Angel Investors who may invest even more money and their expert knowledge in the business.

amexopen_booming.JPGCelebrate Your Booming Business Contest from American Express OPEN
Enter by August 25, 2010
Win an Apple iPad® from American Express OPEN® by following @OPEN on Twitter and tweeting your best business tip. See website for sample tweet text and rules. Winners will be chosen at random.
windows-pro-contest.jpgMicrosoft Windows Pro 7 Acqua Contest
Enter by August 27, 2010
Tell Micosoft how you would take advantage of new Windows 7 Professional for your small business and get a chance to win a technology makeover. Winners will receive laptops with Windows 7 Professional and consultation services. Open to U.S. small businesses with up to 50 employees.
abmcleaning.JPGWin a Free Office Cleaning
Enter by August 31, 2010
New York based cleaning company is holding an innovative competition for businesses in or near Manhattan to win a one-time FREE office cleaning. See website for rules and to enter.
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business
Enter by August 31, 2010
Women entrepreneurs, executives and organizations are eligible to enter in 54 different categories. Request an entry kit via online form.
startupnation.JPG2010 Leading Moms in Business
Enter by August 31, 2010
The 2010 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business competition will rank the top 200 mom-run businesses across America as determined by popular vote over the next few months.
The list of the 200 winners will be published next May and ranked according to votes accumulated.
vistaprint-logo.pngVistaprint Make an Impression Contest
Enter by September 4, 2010
How do you impress your customers? Tell Vistaprint and enter to win a customized marketing campaign crafted by their in-house creative experts to promote your business and a $600 gift certificate to HP for a total prize package of $10,000!
thefranchisecouncillogoFINAL2.pngThe Franchise Council Contest
Enter by September 6, 2010
A nationwide contest for business owners interested in an initial launch of franchising his/her business. The winner will receive $87,000 in business services . The Franchise Council (TFC) in partnership with Franchise Brokers Association (FBA), an industry association, will manage the contest that runs from June 1 – September 6, 2010.
The contest winner will be announced October 20 at the FBA national meeting in Orlando. Online application and rules located at
For information about the contest and other general inquiries contact Randy Hove, FranNet – St. Louis, at 314.614.8940 or
vantage.JPGFree PR Contest from Vantage Communications
Enter by September 17, 2010
Vantage Communications is offering a free PR contest providing 20 hours of free PR services to one winning technology company. Note: the contest is open to any size technology company, including SMBs. See website for rules and to enter.
newideas.JPGNew Ideas Contest
Enter by September 20, 2010
Winners will be announced at the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo in Charleston on Nov. 3. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 of seed money for his or her business idea, a scholarship to a FastTrac entrepreneurial training program, tickets to the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo and a Dream Team of Mentors to help cultivate the idea.
Five first place prizes of $2,500 will be awarded in the categories of Bio-Science, Software/Information Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Wild Card. Each winner will receive a scholarship to FastTrac and tickets to the Small Business Innovation Summit and Expo. There will be five $1,000 honorable mention prizes distributed as well as in each category.
americasgotnet.JPGAmerica’s Got Net Video Contest
Enter by September 30, 2010
This contest is is open to U.S.-based individuals, small businesses and non-profit/charitable organizations that demonstrate the benefits of the open Internet.
Video entries will be judged by some of the Internet’s most influential celebrities and
winners will receive a prize package containing an Amazon Kindle DX, Google Nexus One Phone, Slingbox PRO-HD, Skype mobile phone plus one year of Skype Unlimited World Calling, and a Sony bloggie. Small business and non-profit winners will also win free advertising and promotion, the chance to be featured in an Open Internet Coalition ad campaign, and a VIP trip to D.C. to meet with key decision makers on the open Internet.
women20.JPGPITCH: Women 2.0 Startup Competition
Enter by October 1, 2010
Open to early-stage ventures around the world, from high growth business ventures in web 2.0 to mobile, from enterprise web/mobile to consumer clean/biotech. Applying companies must be in beta stage and have not received significant funding.
A handful of startups will be chosen to pitch live in San Francisco at the 4th Annual PITCH Night on November 4th, 2010. Previous years’ prizes included meetings with Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital), Tim Draper (Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and Esther Dyson (investor in companies such as Flickr,, and 23andMe), and a host of startup-friendly services.
Thumbnail image for startupnation.JPGStartup Nation Homebased 100
Enter by October 1, 2010
The 2010 StartupNation Home-Based 100 will once again rank the best performing home-based businesses across America in ten distinct categories. To enter you must be home-based, must also have a website for your business, and some aspect of your business should fit at least one of the themes of the Top Ten categories.
AccoBrandsHeader.pngACCO Brands Everyday Heroes Contest
Enter by October 31, 2010
What is an Everyday Hero? It’s a person who knows how to use his/her office tools to make things run smoothly; a person to whom everyone turns to pull it all together in a pinch; an individual who quietly gets the job done — often without being recognized. Everyday Heroes can enter the contest now at ACCO Brands will award a grand prize of $1,000 redeemable at office product dealers to one winner in each of three categories — business, home/home office and school.
moo_contest.pngThe Business Card Project
Open entry deadline is giving away more than $250,000 worth of design services and MOO products to 500 small businesses. Each winner will receive a one-time business card redesign by a professional design team and 50 free Business Cards from MOO. Check out a great “before and after” on the site:
cleantech.gifThe Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
Enter by October 2010 (see site for entry details)
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.
Sign up to receive the newsletter to get updates.
dreambig.jpgDream Big Small Business Award
Enter by January 7, 2011
The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club, is designed to honor U.S. job creators and recognize their significant contributions as drivers of economic growth. The 2011 application will become available starting Tuesday, September 21, 2010. View the eligibility and criteria to learn more and check out the Application Process FAQs for tips on filling out the application.
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,
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