SEP Competitions

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program is pleased to offer a variety of competitive opportunities for participating high school students. In addition to a series of traditional business plan competitions which the SEP has offered annually since 2007, the Making Money Now! competition provides financial recognition to one student per year for exemplifying intentional entrepreneurship. Rules and rubrics for each competition are provided below.

Business Plan Competitions

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) sponsors and operates multiple competitions each school year. Be on the lookout each spring for our regional qualifier competitions in preparation for the SEP Statewide Business Plan Competition held near the end of the school year.

The 30 top-placing presentations (individuals and/or teams) from the regional qualifiers are selected to participate in the statewide competition.


Rules & Regulations:

*  Follow the judging criteria -- the judging sheet is provided HERE.

*  Come dressed to present!

*  Presenters (Teams/Individuals) will be divided into two (2) categories: 1st year participants (e1) and 2nd year participants (e2).

*  Presenters (Teams/Individuals) will have up to 7 minutes to present followed by 3 minutes of questions from the judges for a total of 10 minutes per presentation.  Any time remaining from the presenter's initial 7 minutes may be added to the Q&A segment.

*  Presenters are encouraged to bring handouts, visuals, or illustrations as needed.  Presentation rooms will not have projectors.

*  Presenters should bring five (5) copies of each Business Plan for the judges to review during the presentation.

*  Presentation Teams can consist of no more than four (4) members.

*  The weighted average of the competition's judging results will be used to determine rankings and associated awards. 



*  1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place recognition will be given to presenters (Teams/Individuals) in both competition categories (e1/e2) at the SEP Statewide Business Plan Competition.

*  1st Place teams/individuals at the state level will receive a check for $400.  $500

*  2nd Place teams/individuals at the state level will receive a check for $200.  $350

*  3rd Place teams/individuals at the state level will receive a check for $100.  $200

*  Cash prizes currently are not awarded at regional qualifier competitions but may be introduced as sponsorships allow

*  W-9 Tax Forms for cash prize recipients must be on file with SEP before winnings will be dispersed.  This form can be accessed on the IRS Web site HERE




MAKING MONEY NOW! - An SEP Competition

To emphasize the concepts of business creativity and opportunity recognition within its students, SEP developed and introduced the MAKING MONEY NOW! competition as part of the 2009-10 program.

Participating SEP students compete by using a "bootstrapping" method of business financing to launch multiple ventures during the school year, and the individual student who accrues the highest score (Adjusted Profit Score) under competition guidelines (Grading Rubric PDF) is awarded $500.  $1,000

Here is a quick informational presentation on the MAKING MONEY NOW! concept.


Rules & Regulations:

*  MAKING MONEY NOW! is currently open only to individual students--no teams.

*  The competition begins each school year on October 1, and the last day of reportable income is April 15.

*  Participants must start their first venture with no more than ten dollars ($10).

*  Participants must fund their following venture(s) using only the profit generated from previous ventures.

*  The development of fewer than five (5) uniquely separate business ventures (e.g., face painting, lawn care) through this funding strategy will result in a reduction in the student's Adjusted Profit Score (APS, see grading rubric provided above).

*  Up to a 10% boost in one's Adjusted Profit Score (APS) is obtainable by providing:

   1) clear documentation and

   2) evidence of business sustainability beyond May 1 (see grading rubric).

*  The individual student that has produced the highest APS under these guidelines will be declared the winner and announced at the SEP Statewide Business Plan Competition.

*  Students are accountable to their school's SEP instructor, and both student and instructor must sign a statement acknowledging that no revenue/profit/cost statements submitted for the competition have been altered or fabricated in any way.

*  The deadline for submitting a completed MAKING MONEY NOW! application to SEP is April 22.  The application package must include:

   1) a Cash Flow sheet clearly stating actual profit (the recommended template is provided HERE,

   2) a separate 1-2 page description of the business ventures, and

   3) a signed statement as mentioned in the previous point.

*  A helpful Transaction Record template for students to document their incomes and expenses as they occur is provided HERE.

*  Application submissions may be made in 3 ways: email a PDF version to, fax to 601-266-6071, or mail to:

  CEEE at Southern Miss
  Attn: James Wilcox
  118 College Drive, #5022
  Hattiesburg, MS  39406



*  The MAKING MONEY NOW! award will be presented to one (1) individual student each year, recognized at the SEP Statewide Business Plan Competition.

*  The winner will receive a check for $500.  $1,000

*  W-9 Tax Forms for cash prize recipients must be on file with SEP before winnings will be dispersed.  This form can be accessed on the IRS Web site HERE.



SEP founder Brent Hales co-authors this new 11-lesson Council for Economic Education high school publication.

© 2014   Created by James Wilcox.

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