You are not logged in

Log in

Stay tuned for updates. View timeline. View entries

Congratulations to the 2016 American Small Business Champions

$25,000 Grand Prize

$25,000 Grand Prize

+ 4 other prizes

View entries

Sam’s Club and SCORE are proud to announce the 2016 American Small Business Champions. These small businesses from around the country will be rewarded for the sacrifices they have made to make their businesses successful. The Champions came from over 250 eligible entries and were selected by a panel of distinguished judges and public votes. Thank you to all the entrants for participating. The Champions win a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, expense-paid attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for one year, and significant national publicity.

Spring Training for Small Business:

Chicago, IL | April 26 Register Now
Washington, DC | May 5 Register Now

View full list of winners

SCORE’s Championship celebrates U.S. small businesses, and is made possible thanks to funding from Sam’s Club and The SCORE Foundation.

One Grand Champion will win $25,000 – money you can put to great use for building your business. $1,000 Sam’s Club gift cards will be awarded to two businesses from each state and the District of Columbia. Champions will be invited to a regional Training and Networking Event in Phoenix, Chicago, or Washington DC. in April or May 2016. Of course, SCORE also will pair you with a business mentor to support you throughout this journey – and for the life of your business.

If you’ve already been a SCORE client, your business may be eligible to win one of eleven SCORE Awards and be invited to the SCORE Awards Gala on September 15, 2016, in Washington, D.C. All entrants get major national publicity.

To enter, businesses answered the question, “What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?” through a video of 30-60 seconds, or with a photo and written response of no more than 1,500 characters. Entrants needed at least 100 votes to be eligible. Beyond determining eligibility, public support (meaning votes) comprised 15% of the final score. The remaining 85% was determined by our panel of judges based on the compelling nature of the entry (50%), creativity/originality (25%) and clarity/adherence to theme (10%). Entry period was January 14, 2016, through 5:00 pm EST on February 12, 2016.

The National Champions were announced on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The Grand Champion will be selected from the National Champions by a panel of small business experts in July 2016. In part, judges will review how well the business has taken advantage of the $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card and SCORE training at the regional Training and Networking Event to achieve a business dream. The Grand Champion will be announced at the Gala on September 15, 2016.

See Entry Requirements and the Official Rules for additional details.

Contest Requirements

Your entry should answer the question, "What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?" We are looking for personal, compelling stories of how this contest would help you to achieve your business dreams. You can tell that story through EITHER (a) a video of 30-60 seconds, OR (b) photo combined with a written answer of 1,500 characters or fewer. We are looking to celebrate businesses that demonstrate determination and the attitude of a champion by overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams.

The entry period is January 14, 2016, through February 12, 2016 at 5 pm EST.

To be considered, you will need to get at least 100 votes for your entry between January 14, 2016, and February 19, 2016 at 5 pm EST. Your final vote count will boost your score in the judging process–so share your entry widely with your family, friends, customers and supporters. People can vote for your entry on this website.

If you submit a video entry, it can be as simple as talking into a camera on your phone or computer, or something more involved such as an interview, an animation, dance, or song. The minimum requirements are that videos must be 30-60 seconds and appropriate for a general audience. File size for video cannot exceed 500MB.

To see examples of Champions from 2015, please visit the 2015 Championship website. See the Official Rules for additional details.

Contest Timeline

Round nameStarts onEnds on
Submission roundJanuary 14, 2016 @ 12:00 AM (EST)February 12, 2016 @ 5:00 PM (EST)
Voting roundJanuary 14, 2016 @ 12:00 AM (EST)February 19, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)
Judging roundFebruary 20, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)March 1, 2016 @ 11:59 PM (EST)

Your use of this site is subject to the SCORE Privacy Policy.