WASHINGTON, March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, announced the winners of the fourth annual American Small Business Championship. A total of 102 winners across 49 states and the District of Columbia will each receive expert training, resources and networking opportunities. The winners will now compete for three grand prizes of $25,000 each, to be awarded at the SCORE Awards Gala on Sept. 14. The Championship is made possible with a generous grant from Sam's Club, the nationwide membership club built on the foundation of helping small business owners succeed.
All winners will be awarded a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card to help grow their small business, an all-expenses-paid trip to a training and networking event in Dallas, Texas, mentoring from business experts at SCORE, and public recognition throughout the year. SCORE selected the winners by online voting and a judging panel of small business experts from among more than 1,500 applications. The application asked each entrepreneur to detail the unique aspects of their small business that have contributed to their success, their positive impact on the community, and their plans to use the prizes to grow their business.
"SCORE is very pleased to honor the hard work and accomplishments of these 102 small business owners. They come from all across the United States, and provide diverse products and services for their clients, but all share in their dedication to making their dreams a reality," said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. "It is our pleasure to provide the mentoring, tools and resources that will help them continue to grow their businesses and enhance the communities they serve. We look forward to sharing their unique stories in the coming days."
The types of businesses owned by the 102 winners demonstrate the wonderful diversity of services, products and offerings that make up the American small business landscape. Such companies include:
Second + Seven
Karina Dorn, of Columbus, Miss., owns Second + Seven, a personal finance strategy firm that focuses on helping people to align their finances with their core values.
"The work we do at Second + Seven goes way beyond the numbers," Dorn said. "It's about touching someone's soul and helping them find hope, direction and purpose."
Danette Tucker of Washington, D.C., owns Go-Go Fitness, which offers comprehensive dance fitness and conditioning classes throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia. Go-Go Fitness LLC has partnered with more than 500 community outreach organizations to enrich the lives and improve the health of local residents.
"The response from small business owners this year is simply outstanding. The significant increase in applications is a true testament to the importance of programs like the American Small Business Championship," said Tracey D. Brown, senior vice president of operations and chief experience officer at Sam's Club. "At Sam's Club, we proudly support and celebrate the unique experience of the small business owner. We are inspired daily by their ability to navigate challenges and triumphs on the road to success. And now, hopefully, the rest of the nation will be too as they get to know some of the most promising small business owners."
Learn more about the American Small Business Championship and view the full list of the 102 inspiring winners at: https://championship.score.org/winners.
SCORE's panel of expert judges will select three grand prize winners based on how well they use prizes to increase revenue and generate public awareness for their business, SCORE and the American Small Business Championship.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE's 10,000+ volunteer business experts provide more than 350,000 free small business mentoring sessions, workshops and educational services to clients in 300 chapters nationwide. In 2016, SCORE mentors volunteered 2.2 million hours to help create more than 130,000 jobs and 54,000 small businesses.
For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you, or visit www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on the small business landscape.
About Sam's Club
Sam's Club, a leading U.S. membership club, offers savings and surprises to millions of members in 659 U.S. club locations and at SamsClub.com. The Sam's Club Giving Program, established by the Walmart Foundation in 2008, is dedicated to micro- and small business prosperity. Sam's Club and The Sam's Club Giving Program have invested more than $28 million since 2011 in national and local programs dedicated to improved training, education and increased access to capital for small business owners. For more information on national or local giving by Sam's Club or The Sam's Club Giving Program, visit http://corporate.samsclub.com/giving.
Laura Ladd Poff