Sam’s Club and SCORE are proud to announce the 2016 American Small Business Champions. These small businesses from around the country will be rewarded for the sacrifices they have made to make their businesses successful. The Champions came from over 250 eligible entries and were selected by a panel of distinguished judges and public votes. Thank you to all the entrants for participating. The Champions win a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, expense-paid attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for one year, and significant national publicity.
Silver Spring, MD
Clifton Park, NY
SCORE’s Championship celebrates U.S. small businesses, and is made possible thanks to funding from Sam’s Club and The SCORE Foundation.
Through the American Small Business Championship, one Grand Champion wins $25,000 – money that can be put to great use for building a business. $1,000 Sam’s Club gift cards are awarded to two businesses from each state and the District of Columbia. Champions were invited to a regional Training and Networking Event in Phoenix, Chicago, or Washington DC. in April or May 2016. Of course, SCORE also paired winners with a business mentor to support businesses throughout this journey.
Businesses that had already been a SCORE client were also eligible to win one of ten SCORE Awards and were invited to the SCORE Awards Gala on September 15, 2016, in Washington, D.C. All entrants received major national publicity.
To enter, businesses answered the question, “What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?” through a video of 30-60 seconds, or with a photo and written response of no more than 1,500 characters. Entrants needed at least 100 votes to be eligible. Beyond determining eligibility, public support (meaning votes) comprised 15% of the final score. The remaining 85% was determined by our panel of judges based on the compelling nature of the entry (50%), creativity/originality (25%) and clarity/adherence to theme (10%). Entry period was January 14, 2016, through 5:00 pm EST on February 12, 2016.
The National Champions were announced on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The Grand Champion was selected from the National Champions by a panel of small business experts in July 2016. In part, judges reviewed how well the business has taken advantage of the $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card and SCORE training at the regional Training and Networking Event to achieve a business dream. The Grand Champion was announced at the Gala on September 15, 2016.
See Entry Requirements and the Official Rules for additional details.
Your entry should answer the question, "What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?" We are looking for personal, compelling stories of how this contest would help you to achieve your business dreams. You can tell that story through EITHER (a) a video of 30-60 seconds, OR (b) photo combined with a written answer of 1,500 characters or fewer. We are looking to celebrate businesses that demonstrate determination and the attitude of a champion by overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams.
The entry period is January 14, 2016, through February 12, 2016 at 5 pm EST.
To be considered, you will need to get at least 100 votes for your entry between January 14, 2016, and February 19, 2016 at 5 pm EST. Your final vote count will boost your score in the judging process–so share your entry widely with your family, friends, customers and supporters. People can vote for your entry on this website.
If you submit a video entry, it can be as simple as talking into a camera on your phone or computer, or something more involved such as an interview, an animation, dance, or song. The minimum requirements are that videos must be 30-60 seconds and appropriate for a general audience. File size for video cannot exceed 500MB.
|Round name||Starts on||Ends on|
|Submission round||January 14, 2016 @ 12:00 AM (EST)||February 12, 2016 @ 5:00 PM (EST)|
|Voting round||January 14, 2016 @ 12:00 AM (EST)||February 19, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)|
|Judging round||February 20, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)||March 1, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)|