About the Contest
Contest Now Open!
The 3rd Annual Amazing Entrepreneur Business Plan Competition is an initiative by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to foster new business development in Gwinnett County.
The contest is now open for interested parties to submit their business plans for consideration. Contestants enter their small business plan ideas with an opportunity to win big prizes to support their growth and development.
Winners and finalists receive prizes they can use for support during the critical early phase of their ventures. Now more than ever, Gwinnett is committed to the growth, development and support of entrepreneurs.
New to this year’s contest:
- Simplified entry requirements– a business plan summary rather than a traditional, full-length business plan
- Two entry categories: Established Business and Pre-Venture
- November 29, 2012: Contest opens
March 1, 2013: Application deadlineMarch 8, 2013: Application deadline extended!
- March 2-31, 2013: Selection committee judges entries
- April 1-19, 2013: Established Business category finalists’ oral presentations scheduled at mutually agreeable times
- April 26, 2013: Established Business category finalists invited to Pinnacle Awards where winner is announced
Benny StaRomana, winner of the 2011 contest, had this to say about the competition:
“I knew my chances of succeeding as a new entrepreneur depended largely on a clear, vetted-out understanding of key elements like my company’s strategic position vis-à-vis my target markets and the competition.
A business plan would satisfy that requirement, but I put it off since ‘I had it all in my head’ anyway. I then proceeded to register the company, hire my consultants, and launch the business.
I then heard of the 2011 ‘Amazing Entrepreneur’ competition and, deciding that pausing the business to invest time in the business plan would be worth it, I started working on the plan.
The business plan process and the due diligence it calls for revealed some ‘uncooked’ ideas that I eventually either heavily modified or deleted. I had to drop, for example, some focus markets that I originally considered lucrative. Working on the financial section of the plan, for another, made me internalize priorities and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
In all, even if business plans are known to be revised many times over the life of a business, the plan I made for my business established a long-term goal and a baseline for making decisions and implementing corrective action. Most important, it created confidence.
Winning the grand prize probably accelerated recognition of my company by at least one year. A web search of my business will show the Amazing Entrepreneur award and the contest sponsors; very compelling credibility-builders in my opinion. The well thought-out contest prizes were also unequivocal accelerators.
Five months after the competition, I’m at full capacity, realizing uptrend revenue, and ready to move into the second phase of the business plan.
Did the Amazing Entrepreneur contribute to my company’s early success? The clear answer is ‘yes!’”