The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship is beginning its fourth year hosting the MADE in Missouri State Entrepreneurship competition, giving participants the chance to gain technical assistance and cash grants to invest in their business. Application deadline is May 31.
The competition provides new and potential business owners in Missouri an opportunity to put their business ideas up against others throughout the state and grow their ventures. The competition is open to any resident of Missouri that is beginning to develop a business or has been in business less than three years.
"The competition is designed to support Missouri communities by cultivating reliable businesses, creating jobs, and stimulating the state's economic future," said Cheryl Zimney, CCAP, community development manager with the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency. "It is an excellent program to promote and cultivate the development of locally owned businesses in our state."
The competition has two categories, one for youth 18 and younger and an open category anyone can enter. The only restrictive criteria are that the owner resides in Missouri, the business is in Missouri and the business is legal.
The competition has two parts. The first part is submission and judging of the preliminary questionnaire. Judges decide who is ready to move on to the second and final round that culminates at the Missouri State Fair. Final round contestants submit a business plan with financials and then hold a trade show booth at the fair. During the final competition, judges score the business plans, financials, trade show booth and a short presentation by the participants to identify the three top contestants in each category.
Cash prizes will be awarded as startup/operating capital to winners at the State Fair, as well as prize trophies. All information shared is regarded as confidential and proprietary and will not be shared with outside parties.
Registration is open to any potential business owner or current business owner in operation three years or less. There are youth and open categories, and people considering going into business for the first time are welcomed. Participants do not have to be in business yet to compete.
Mexico Assistant City Manager/Economic Development Director Russell Runge urges area residents to take advantage of the competition opportunities. Runge said he plans to forward the competition information to the local Advanced Technical College and the Hart Career Center for their students to consider.
"I encourage local participation in this unique and innovative program whether in the youth or open category. In these economic times local business growth through opportunities which allow for the cultivation of entrepreneurship is crucial to rural community survival," Runge said.
The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship (MADE) is a project facilitated by Missouri Valley Community Action Agency of Marshall, a not-for-profit organization.
Submissions for the competition are due May 31 and should be sent by email or mailed in print form to Cheryl Zimny at Made.email@example.com, or 1415 S. Odell, Marshall, MO 65340. For more information, call Zimney at 660-886-7476 ext. 816.