$20,000 in cash and prizes to Gwinnett start-ups

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) November 13, 2014 – Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, in collaboration withThe University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), launched its fifth annual Amazing Entrepreneur Contest today. The competition, which recognizes the best business plan summary in two categories – Established Business and Pre-Venture – will award more than $20,000 in cash and prizes to Gwinnett County startups.

“Gwinnett entrepreneurs make significant contributions to our community and as we enter our fifth year, we’re expecting more of them than ever to participate in the Contest and start to engage with the great support services in the region,” stated Mark Farmer, Director for Entrepreneurship for Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett.

In addition to the $10,000 cash award, the Grand Prize winner will also receive consultation with Arnall Golden Gregory ($3,000 value), a one-year Gwinnett Chamber membership ($500 minimum value), passes to attend the Chamber’s Small Business ($120 value), and a scholarship to the SBDC Grow Smart program ($985 value), among other prizes.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the source of job creation for hard-working people in this community,” stated Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “With the right tools, these businesses and entrepreneurs will drive innovation.  The Amazing Entrepreneur Contest provides just the support that startups need and encourages small business development throughout our community.”

The University of Georgia SBDC has partnered with Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett to host this contest since its inception in 2010. “The Amazing Entrepreneur Contest is such an impactful way of celebrating Gwinnett’s small business community and offering essential business development resources at the same time,” commented said Mark Butler, Area Director at The University of Georgia SBDC. “We are pleased to be a partner of this awards program for the fifth year and we’re excited to see the growth in local small business and entrepreneurship.”

The winner of the Pre-Venture category will receive a scholarship to the SBDC Start Smart program ($495 value) and accounting services from John Dillard, CPA ($300 value). All contestants receive a free Business Plan class at the SBDC.

New this year is an Amazing Entrepreneur reception, where attendees will get the chance to vote in a new special Pre-Venture category, for the Best Investment Opportunity. The winner will receive one pass to attend the Gwinnett Chamber’s Small Business Summit ($59 value).

The Amazing Entrepreneur Contest platinum sponsors are Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (Jackson EMC), LAN Systems and The Myers Group and Silver sponsors are Creative Contacting and Metro Atlanta Chamber.

“I am encouraged by the success of the Amazing Entrepreneur Contest and its role in fostering successful businesses, a contributor to the growth and economic stability of this community,” said Randy Dellinger, Gwinnett District Manager for Jackson EMC.

The contest’s Established Business category is open to Gwinnett companies with a current business license that have been in operation for up to 36 months. The Pre-Venture category is open to businesses not yet in operation.

Applications will be accepted beginning today, November 13, through February 20, 2015. Winners will be announced during the Gwinnett Chamber’s Pinnacle Small Business Awards in April.

Applicants will be judged based on the business plan summary. Full contest rules and details are available on the Amazing Entrepreneur Contest website.

For more information on the Amazing Entrepreneur Contest, please visitwww.amazingentrepreneurcontest.com.