A new program, sponsored exclusively by Chase and LivingSocial, is giving entrepreneurs a chance to compete for $250,000 in small business grants. The competition requires them to convince a panel of peers and small-business mentors that they deserve the funding by answering a series of questions that identify their motives and outline their plans.
Because the program is intended to help small firms with immediate growth potential get their hands on the capital and marketing resources that they need, contestants will be required to share why their business is unique, outline a proposed plan for utilizing the grant to grow their business, and describe how the business is involved with its community.
To be eligible, applicants must be business owners with fewer than 100 employees, and must have been in business for at least two years. In addition to submitting an application online, contestants have to garner support for their peers to receive at least 250 votes on the program’s site to be considered for a grant. Supporters can log on through Facebook and Twitter to vote for their favorite candidate.
Grant recipients will be selected by a unique panel of business experts including Steve Case, co-founder of AOL; Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes; Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo.com; David Chavern, COO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Richard Quigley, president of Chase Business Card, and Tim O'Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial.com.
A minimum of four (4) and a maximum of twelve (12) winners will be selected to receive up to $250,000 each. Those with innovative ideas will be giving preference.
The deadline is June 30, 2012
For more details on how to apply, visit www.missionsmallbusiness.com