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2024 The Small Biz Challenge

Submissions are now open!

Small Biz Challenge logo

Small Biz Challenge

Calling all small business owners!

You're invited to enter your small business or entrepreneurial venture in this year's The UPS Store® Small Biz Challenge to compete to win a trip to Miami, Florida, a share of the total prize pool of up to $35,000 to grow your small business, and a feature in Inc. magazine!  

Here's how to enter:

Phase 1: From now through March 8, eligible small business owners can enter the 2024 The UPS Store® Small Biz Challenge by completing a short, online entry form at inc.com/theupsstore.

Phase 2: The UPS Store, Inc., and Inc. Business Media will review all online submissions and select the nine semifinalists. Each semifinalist will be partnered with a mentor who will help provide motivation and entrepreneurial advice as they compete in the next phase of the Small Biz Challenge.

The nine semifinalists, together with their individual mentor, will compete in various challenges. These may range from a variety of common skills and know-how needed to run a successful small business, such as marketing, staffing, operations, and company culture.

Voting Phase: After each challenge, the nine semi-finalists, alongside their entrepreneurial mentors, will share their answers for the public to view and cast votes. The public voting phase will run from April 8 to 26 and will determine the three final contestants.

Final Phase: The top three contestants will travel to a final event in Miami on May 16 to present in front of a celebrity host and guest judges. A winner will be announced and given the ultimate prize plus an editorial feature in an upcoming issue of Inc. magazine.

Read about the 2023 winner, LaDonna Welch!

LaDonna’s entrepreneurial ambitions were inspired by her mission to uplift the Black community and their mental health. She saw a need for accessible and inclusive resources, and as a result, her mobile app, Ebony Notes, was born. LaDonna believes that positive affirmations provide a dose of motivation and encouragement, helping individuals overcome barriers and unlock their full potential. Through the course of the competition, LaDonna was mentored by Julissa Prado, founder and CEO of Rizos Curls, who provided invaluable guidance and expertise as LaDonna took on different challenges to become a finalist, and ultimately, the 2023 winner. 

LaDonna and her fellow finalists, Randy Bezdek of The Hungry Robot and Rachel Garcia of Dry Goods Refillery, were surrounded by other accomplished professionals. Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medalist and now sports commentator, entrepreneur and small business owner inspired the contestants and audience as the event host. Chris Do, CEO and Founder of Futur, and Jasmine Star, Founder & CEO of Social Curator, expertly guided their finalist mentees, while Scott Omelianuk, Inc. Editor in Chief, and Kimberly McGlonn, owner of Grant BLVD and 2021 Small Biz Challenge winner, served as esteemed judges during the competition. 

Watch the final Small Biz Challenge event here and follow our Instagram to catch highlights and other small business advice and inspiration from the competition.  

2023 Small Biz Challenge Winner, LaDonna Welch