Not very often can you find actual grants for small business, although there are a few grant contests out there. (Read more about the lack of grants at Do Small Business Startup Grants Exist?)
Today, I have an outstanding, legitimate grant contest to share with you, Intuit’s Small Business United contest. You enter by sharing a real life business story and a tip for small business owners. (Given the recent flap over Terms of Service at Facebook, I will remind you that you give Intuit the right to use that story by entering. Read the rules.)
Fifty finalists will receive a $5,000 grant and a Pure Digital Flip Video™ camcorder. From the finalists, four first prize winners will get picked to receive an additional $10,000, and one grand prize winner will receive an additional $25,000. Of course, Intuit is also throwing in $2,500 worth of their own products and services to the first prize and grand prize winners. That’s a pretty cool grant package, as it adds up to $315,000.
Ratings from the community will count for 40% of your score. The other 60% comes from creativity and quality. And let me tell you, I’m honored to be one of the judges, along with Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing, and Donna Ettenson, vice president of operations of the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
Deadline: Get your entries in by March 23, 2009, then watch for the finalists by April 1, and winners in May.
Whether you enter or not, you can get all sorts of inspiration by reading through the gallery of stories.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.