Contests & Awards: Startup Stories, Dream Big, Small Biz Veterans + More – Oct 17

Welcome to a fresh list of awards, contests and competitions for growing companies and entrepreneurs.

There are some great contests and awards in this week’s roundup.

If you’ve entered and won a contest or award listed here, let me know so we can share your news.

This list is brought to you every other week by Small Business Trends and

Small Business Veteran Award
Enter by October 24, 2011

The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center is accepting nominations for its Small Business Veteran Award. This award recognizes a veteran who has made a significant contribution to the economy of the Shenandoah Valley and makes a difference in his/her community.

To be eligible, the veteran must own, or have owned, at least 51 percent of a small business based in the Shenandoah Valley for one year, and show innovative or successful efforts to promote small business development and economic growth. The nominee must have been honorably discharged from active duty or could still be active in Reserve or National Guard units.

Get the Exposure You Deserve Sweepstakes
Enter through October 31, 2011

Alpha Pixel Media is giving away 3 great digital marketing prizes for small businesses to boost their traffic and increase their Facebook “likes” and Twitter “follows.” The Grand Prize is a custom Facebook Landing Page Tab design for their Page. Second Place wins a custom Twitter background. Third Place wins a brief Search Engine Optimization plan for their current site.

Hiscox $10,000 “MyStartUpStory” Contest
Enter by November 7, 2011

Hiscox is looking for entrepreneurs, consultants and other small business owners to share their start-up stories and advice for a chance to win $10,000 and other prizes. The Hiscox “MyStartUpStory” Contest will run through November 7, 2011 and is open to all US small business owners on the Hiscox Small Business Insurance Facebook page.

Entrants need to submit a two-to-five minute video or a written summary of up to 500 words describing their startup story and small business advice for a chance to win. All submissions will be featured on the Hiscox Small Business Insurance Facebook page during the contest.

U.S. Bank “Look Up with US” $15,000 Challenge
Enter by November 15, 2011

U.S. Bank is asking the question: “Why is your business looking up?” Reply via the app at, and you’ll be entered to win up to $15,000. Your company also gets free publicity. Your entry will be displayed on the Facebook page along with your logo/photo and contact information.

Tweet-to-Win Contest with Brother & Startup Nation
Enter through December 9, 2011

StartupNation has partnered with Brother to bring you the Tweet To Win contest, in which you can respond to a burning small business question for the chance to win a Brother P-touch labeler, absolutely free!

Small business owners/workers are encouraged to participate and tweet their responses (using #brothersun). Then every other Friday, a winner is selected at random and wins a Brother P-touch labeler. See website for details and the latest question.

2012 Business Excellence Awards
Enter by December 15, 2011

The Business Excellence Awards serve as a conclusion to the 2-day Business Excellence Forum, and honors those business owners and their companies who have taken their companies, teams and results to “the next level” of success. The award will recognize businesses for outstanding results in any service category. Any company that does a service business is eligible for this award, provided their results were outstanding and measurable.
Sponsored by ActionCOACH.

2012 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award
Enter by January 6, 2012

Nominate an outstanding business from your community or submit your own application for the 2012 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club.

All award winners will be honored during America’s Small Business Summit on May 22 in Washington, D.C. Blue Ribbon Award® winners will receive one complimentary registration to attend the Summit, courtesy of Sam’s Club. Nominations are due January 6 and applications are due January 13. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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 Events & Contests Submission Form. (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing.) Only events of interest to small business people, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be considered and included.

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.

[photo credit: Shorts and Longs Flickr]

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.

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