The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the launch of the 2017 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge, a nationwide business competition to drive attention and resources to innovative products and services that make our lives easier and longer. Competitors vie for $70,000 in prize money provided to SBA for the InnovateHER competition through a gift from the Sara Blakely Foundation.
The Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet announced during National Small Business Week 2015 that the SBA is crowdsourcing the official logo for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, “America’s Seed Fund” and has made major improvements to the www.sbir.gov website.
The SBA oversees the SBIR and the STTR programs, America’s largest seed fund for small businesses in the STEM fields. These programs allocate $2.5 billion a year to small innovators. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for smaller firms, this encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth priorities and build a strong national economy.
InnovateHER is a cross-cutting women's business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.
We know that our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Most children live in households where all parents work. And as our population ages, families are increasingly caring for aging parents while balancing the needs of work and home. As demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases. This Challenge will provide that platform.
InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).
Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet other requirements as defined in the Competition Rules.
How to Participate
InnovateHER’s first round goes live March 1st. Throughout the month of March, universities, accelerators, resource partners and other organizations will host local competitions. A month after going live, each host will select and submit one local winner to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who will then identify no more than 10 finalists. Finalists will make a live pitch to a panel of expert judges during National Small Business Week, May 4 – 8, 2015, in Washington, D.C. where they will compete for top three awards and prize money totaling $30,000.
Do you sell bowling balls to Bangladesh? Or dish towels to Delhi? Maybe you send laser technology to Lisbon? If you export your goods or services around the world and have used a federal government program or assistance to get there, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) want to see your story. Enter the “2013 SBA-Visa Export Video Contest”, where participants will have a chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money. Eligible small business exporters are encouraged to submit a video that will highlight how the small business became a successful exporter, the benefits of exporting and government programs available to help them export.
An online application that allows businesses to compare themselves to their competitors, locate their competition, customers, and suppliers, and find the best places to advertise and their developer team of four won the Commerce Department’s first prize and $5,000 in the nationwide Commerce Business Apps Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The winning apps use at least one Department of Commerce data set that assists businesses and/or improves the service delivery of Business.USA.gov to the business community. BusinessUSA is a centralized, one-stop platform to make it easier than ever for businesses to access services to help them grow and hire. All of these winners equip businesses with tools to be more competitive around the world, while creating jobs here at home.
The First Place winner, SizeUp, is a business intelligence tool that uses data from hundreds of sources including the Census Bureau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, IRS records, county courthouse filings, Yellow Pages and White Pages, business publications, the U.S. Postal Service, and corporate annual reports to provide a comprehensive overview to small- and medium-sized business about their competitiveness and where to find resources to improve. This will improve the success of small businesses so they can prosper and create new jobs.
Do you have a small business story to tell? Every business has one. Tell your story to the SBA and your video may appear at National Small Business Week, SBA’s marquee event that attracts hundreds of small business owners, Fortune 500 company executives, Members of Congress and Obama Administration officials.
In celebration of National Small Business Week 2012, SBA is looking for creative videos from small businesses that show how they have been helped by an SBA program or service. The contest will raise awareness of the importance of SBA programs, and the impact the small businesses that use them have in their local communities.