Inc. magazine, a magazine for small business owners, and Alibaba.com, a website that matches U.S. businesses with Chinese manufacturers, want to give small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs $100,000 in grants to start or grow their new enterprises. To get your share of the $100,000 prize (top prize is a $50,000 grant), you’ll need to write a short essay and, if yours is selected, you’ll compete against other semifinalists for a spot in the finals at an event in your regional area. Finalists’ essays/ideas will be posted online for a public vote, and the 5 finalists with the most votes will be selected to compete at the Finale event in San Francisco on November 18, 2009.
The contest entry deadline is August 14, 2009 at 11:59 pm. Regional events will be held in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Seattle.
If you need help finding or fleshing out a business idea, read YOU + TRUCK: Six Businesses You Can Start With A Truck. It’s filled with low-cost business startup ideas that are ideal for recessionary times.