Registration is open for SCORE’s 5th annual American Small Business Competition. Small businesses from all 50 states are submitting applications for a chance to win. Three contenders will win the grand prize of $15,000, courtesy of Sam’s Club.
In addition, two businesses from each state and the District of Columbia will win a trip to a National Training and Networking Celebration, where they’ll participate in training and networking workshops, gain national and local publicity, and receive mentoring from SCORE small business experts.
Small businesses looking to enter will have to answer the question, “What makes your business one of the best small businesses in your community?” This can be done by recording a 30-60 second video or sending a picture with a written response of 1,000 characters or less. Businesses need to get at least 100 votes to be eligible to win. Winners will be determined by expert judging and public voting.
Those who secure one of the prizes in this competition will become part of an ever-expanding family of small businesses. SCORE works with over 150,000 aspiring and current small business owners annually. Their partner in this competition, Sam’s Club, “serves more than 600,000 small business owners on a weekly basis.”
According to Resa Kierstein, VP of development at SCORE, “it’s an exciting time to be an American small business owner, but entrepreneurs also tell us they are facing a few key challenges in starting or growing their businesses.” These challenges include difficulty in securing funding, she adds.
A 2017 survey conducted by SCORE found that 85% of existing small businesses and 86% of startups have never been able to obtain loans or equity financing. In recent years, though, many small businesses have found luck with non-traditional funding sources like marketplace lenders. As marketplaces lead the way in kickstarting small businesses, groups like SCORE and Sam’s Club are hustling to create more opportunities for young startups to obtain even more cash.
This competition is a must for many small business owners because it’s easy to get involved. The deadline to apply is February 7th, so interested parties need to make haste and throw their hats in the ring. Click here to apply.