We at the Southern Entrepreneurship Program not only enjoy rewarding our students for their hard work, but we also desire to make known to them external financial opportunities that could further their business goals and overall education.
We have therefore assembled a current list of such opportunities/resources and ask for only one thing--as you discover more, please add them to this Discussion.
If you are interested in searching for local (statewide), national, and global business plan competitions, BizPlanCompetitions.com is an amazing resource. Many of the competitions listed on this Web site award substantial cash prizes to their top placing students.
The William James Foundation (WJF)
WJF manages socially responsible business plan competitions, which provide sustainable entrepreneurs with detailed and constructive feedback, and a chance at sharing in more than $100,000 worth of prizes and cash.
2011-2012 Executive Summaries are due July 1st & Nov. 10th, 2011. Check online for additional information and deadlines.
COMPETITIONS & AWARDS
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
NFIB's Young Entrepreneur Foundation promotes entrepreneurship through their Young Entrepreneur Awards, offering $1,000-$10,000 non-renewable scholarships to recognize young people who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit/initiative. Awards are open to any graduating high school senior entering their freshman year at an accredited (not for profit) two- or four-year university, college or vocational/ technical institute. Applicants MUST be running their own small business in order to be considered for an award.
Graduating seniors are encouraged to apply for NFIB awards during the fall semester before their graduation.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Guardian grants prizes to 15 girls who demonstrate budding entrepreneurship; are taking the first steps toward financial independence; and are making a difference in their schools and communities. Every year, prizes totaling $30,000 are granted to three top winners and 12 finalists to further their entrepreneurial pursuits or save for college.
The Award Program application period typically runs from September through February.
Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA)
The MTA Business Plan Competition provides participants the chance to win up to $5,000 and the opportunity to pitch their innovation-based venture to investors. The competition is open to Mississippi innovation and technology entrepreneurs, student-led companies and university affiliated companies. Companies must be innovation-based start-ups or existing companies with a new venture opportunity.
Noetic Technologies, Inc.
Noetic’s annual "Invent Your Future!" invention competition offers $15,000 in cash prizes and valuable in-kind prizes to participants in three categories: 1) students (high school – graduate school) and staff/faculty, 2) entrepreneurs (individual or team) with no formed company, and 3) entrepreneurs (individual or team) with an existing company three years or younger.
Check deadlines for submitting executive summaries and resumes of each team's participants. The final competition is held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, each spring.