SCORE, a provider of small-business mentoring, workshops and education, and Sam's Club have revealed the winners of The American Small Business Championship, a program offering expert training, resources and networking opportunities. One hundred and two winners in 48 states were selected based on written, video and photo submissions detailing the sacrifices each made to achieve success. Winners were chosen by online voting and a judging panel of small-business experts.
Sam's Club provided the program with a $700,000 grant, enabling each champion to receive a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to one of five SCORE training events, SCORE mentoring for one year, and promotion throughout the year to spotlight their stories. A full list of winners is available online.
"We are so proud of the accomplishments of the small businesses chosen as our American Small Business Champions," said Ken Yancey, CEO of Herndon, Va.-based SCORE. "They are true representatives of the American dream and the hard work, determination and sacrifice it takes to achieve small-business success."
"From restaurant owners and inventors to nonprofits and consultants, every entrepreneur has a powerful story of sacrifice and perseverance," added Don Frieson, EVP of operations at Bentonville, Ark.-based Sam's Club, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. division that operates 647 U.S. club locations. "Our clubs and buyers are dedicated to providing business owners with the resources they need to overcome the challenges of managing a small business."
The champions will attend business training events in five cities -- Phoenix; Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Chicago; and Rochester, N.Y. -- from March through July. One full day of each training event will also be open to the public, allowing local small-business owners to take part in training and networking.