The entry period for the American Small Business Championship is open!

It’s an exciting time not only for us here at SCORE, but also for small businesses around the country vying for their chance to win cash and business-training opportunities.

Sponsored by SCORE and Sam’s Club, the Championship recognizes the sacrifices small business owners make so their endeavors can be successful.

Two winners from each state receive a $1,000 gift card from Sam’s Club, along with small business training and mentorship from SCORE. Then, three finalists are named, and one grand-prize winner receives $25,000 at the SCORE Awards.

Last year’s grand-prize winner, obstacle-fitness facility Ninja Park, used its $25,000 award to strengthen its program offerings for children with autism. Ninja Park uses its physical obstacle course elements to encourage in these athletes a mindset of perseverance and determination whether the obstacles they face are physical or mental.

Before Ninja Park won the grand prize, it was a state winner representing New Mexico. Ninja Park owner Garrett Takach reported increased revenue and community attendance after completing training as a state winner.

American Small Business Championship and the SCORE Awards

Ninja Park was joined at the top by two inspiring finalists.

Extendher, from New York, developed a coat extender that expands coats and jackets for expectant mothers and babywearing parents. The owners are committed to manufacturing their extenders in the United States, and they saw a considerable sales bump after working with SCORE mentors. In 2015, they reported $7,000 in sales, and after winning the Championship in 2016, their sales skyrocketed to $23,300—a 330% increase!

Meanwhile, Copiosity represented Maryland as an American Small Business Champion finalist before receiving the Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business Award at the 2016 SCORE Awards. The paper-greetings design duo behind this business started out with small contributions from friends and family; now, they manage seven product lines sold through six national retailers.

How to Enter the 2017 American Small Business Championship

Want to grow your business this year with support from Sam’s Club and SCORE? Enter the American Small Business Championship by answering the following question by written or video response: “What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?”

Visit the contest website for full rules, and submit your entry by February 13!

This year, three grand prize winners will each receive $25,000 from Sam's Club to accelerate their small business growth. Two winners per state will each receive a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, a trip to a regional training event, nationwide publicity and SCORE mentoring.

About the Author(s)

Bridget Weston Pollack

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association.

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE
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