Best Practices

Host an InnovateHER Business Competition

Published Aug 09, 2015

The InnovateHER Business Challenge is back, ready to offer businesses an opportunity to compete and empower the lives of women and families.

Now in its second year, this InnovateHER Business Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact women’s lives through local business competitions. Hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with Microsoft, the local winners will compete on a national platform, with the top three finalists winning cash prizes totaling $70,000.

How It Works

During the initial round of InnovateHER, host organizations such as SBA Resource Partners, universities, accelerators, incubators, scaleup communities, other economic development organizations and Microsoft stores will run local business competitions nationwide.  

Each competition must apply the three Challenge criteria:

  • Have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%)
  • Have the potential for commercialization (40%), and
  • Fill a need in the marketplace (30%).

The competition must also be identified as part of the national InnovateHER Challenge. It is up to each host to determine the type of local competition –consistent with the Challenge Rules—that will best identify the most innovative and entrepreneurial business ideas, including the type of application that individuals need to prepare to compete.

Host a Local Competition

Businesses compete for glory and cash through local business competitions. Organizations interested in hosting an InnovateHER competition must send a written request to the SBA via womenbusiness@sba.gov no later than Sept. 3, 2015. Visit the SBA website for more details, information and requirements.