Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Race To Creativity. Will You Win?

As you know, companies simply can't survive, let alone grow, without ingenuity and originality. UPS (who happens to be a WPO national sponsor!) understands this and today kicked off a program that seeks the best small businesses across the globe -- from Alabama to Argentina and from Zimbabwe to New Zealand.

Dubbed the UPS Best “Out-of-the-Box” Small Business Contest, the program is designed for companies with annual 2006 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million -- you do not have to be a WPO member to register -- and is a way for UPS to reward small businesses using creative, innovative ideas and concepts.

Prizes for the winners range from $5,000 to $25,000 in cash, plus an IBM (also a WPO national sponsor) small business package. This is the first year that small businesses from around the world -- not just those in the United States -- are eligible to participate.

I participated in this event last year as a global small business expert panelist and it was a mind-liberating experience. I met so many innovative small business owners and still wear the decorative pin that one of the winners made at her small business.

First, you must register. And there is a special registration area set up for small business owners operating in different parts of the world. For example, if you are located in Canada, register here where all the information is provided in French. If you are selected as a winner, let's plan to connect at the award ceremony. I am always eager to meet the best and brightest idea generators!

Better hurry because contest application period ends September 1. In case you skipped the previous links, begin the online registration process here.

P.S. Just in (5/9) ... I have been asked to be a judge on the program and it's official:
The entries will be judged by an international panel of renowned small business experts, including: Laurel Delaney, President and Founder, Global TradeSource, Ltd.; Joshua Lau, Founder and CEO of YesAsia; Juan Antonio "Oso" Oseguera, editor of Entrepreneur en EspaƱol and Hayden Bradshaw, publisher and editor of Enterprise Magazine.
Read the press release here. I am honored and cannot wait. See you there!

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