SmartMoney Entrepreneur Small Business Challenge

smartmoney small business contest

One step that I believe all people should be taking to improve their personal finances is to look for a side business that they can do. If you haven’t begun doing this, the New Year is a great excuse to begin. And a bit more motivation to get you started is a small business idea contest which could mean $5000, a laptop computer and $200,000 worth of advertising:

Today more than ever, small business start-ups turn to technology to establish their competitive edge. By harnessing the speed and mobility of portable computers, the smartest small businesses find they can compete on a larger playing field, using their own speed and agility to provide a distinctive advantage.

Submit your business plan by January 31, 2007, and you will be entered for a chance to win a prize package consisting of $5,000, a laptop computer and $200,000 worth of SmartMoney and advertising for your new business.

Entering these contest are free and well worth the effort. Even if you don’t win, the process will make you think through your ideas more thoroughly and help move you along in the process of turning them into reality. You have a month to put it together, so start working at it.

Here is the form for signing up and the offical rules

3 thoughts on “SmartMoney Entrepreneur Small Business Challenge

  1. There are many good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information.

    The federal government will contract in excess of $80B to small businesses in the next fiscal year.
    There are over 50 agencies or “Departments” in the federal government. Each of these agencies has a statutory obligation to contract from small business for over 20% of everything it buys.

    Contracting officers must file reports annually demonstrating they have fulfilled this requirement. Not fulfilling the requirement can put agency annual funding in jeopardy. Small business has a motivated customer in federal government contracting officers and buyers.

    Large business, under federal procurement law, must prepare and submit annual “Small Business Contracting Plans” for approval by the local Defense Contract Management Area Office (DCMAO) nearest their headquarters. These plans must include auditable statistics regarding the previous 12 month period in terms of contracting to small businesses and the goals forecast for the next year.

    The federal government can legally terminate a contract in a large business for not meeting small business contracting goals. Approved small business plans must accompany large business contract proposals submitted to federal government agencies. Small businesses have motivated customers in large business subcontract managers, administrators and buyers.
    There are set-aside opportunities available for small entities,veterans, disabled veterans, women and minorities. All it takes is navigating the system, persistance, asking questions, registering, marketing, teaming and working hard.
    Small Business America is good at that.

  2. It all sounded great until I go to this part of the rules:

    “Submission of an entry grants Sponsor and its respective agents the right to publish, use, adapt, edit and/or modify such entry and the ideas contained in such entry, in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant, whether or not such submission is selected as a winning entry. By entering, entrants acknowledge that submissions may be available to the public, that no privacy to ideas submitted is guaranteed and that Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any infringement thereto.”

    I know you can’t trademark or copyright an idea, but anything you submit for this contest is fair game for the public, even if you don’t win. I’d rather not do my competitor’s work for them!

    BTW, the word “consideration” here means “money,” not “being nice.”

  3. A side business is a great idea. I would suggest that people begin thinking of what it is that they are passionate about- what they love doing- and then find some way to get people to pay them for it. Too often, we work at jobs we really could care less about. Find something you love, start it as a side business, and then grow it into a full time job and quit the one you hate!

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