The Entrepreneur Awards Series Business Plan Competition

The Entrepreneur Awards Series aims to recognize exceptional entrepreneurial skill and creativity among undergraduate students.

The Series is presented by Mercedes-Benz Financial and produced by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, with sponsorship from Anderson Entrepreneurial Center, based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, is a regional partner.

There are four main requirements for business owners to be eligible for the competition. First, contestants must be enrolled in an undergraduate school at the time of application. Second, they must provide proof that they have earned at least 12 credit hours (or the equivalent) in the 12 months prior to the application. Third, they must be business owners with primary responsibility for the management and operations of the business. Finally, the business must be a for-profit endeavor.

In order to apply for the annual competition, candidates should download the application form that can be found at and return it by March 31.

There are three levels or tiers to the Entrepreneur Awards Series, each with corresponding increases in awards and benefits.

First is the Minnesota Collegiate Entrepreneur Awards, which judges teams based on criteria such as business idea originality, business strength, growth, and vision. First place is awarded $2,500; second place takes home $1,000; and third place gets $500 to be used for the business. Winners also get community recognition and a chance to meet business leaders and potential investors during Anderson Entrepreneurial Center’s spring banquet, where the awards are given.

Second, the Great Lakes Regional Collegiate Entrepreneur Awards. The first-place winner from the Tier 1 competes against teams from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This competition takes place during the summer months and gives its winner unique mentorship opportunities in addition to the monetary prize of $2,500.

The third tier consists of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in the final quarter of the year. There are three awards that all of the previous winners compete for:

  • 1st Place Award
    Prizes:    $10,000
        Invitation to attend an Entrepreneurs’ Organization University, valued at $3,000
        One-year mentorship from Entrepreneurs’ Organization
        A one-year Mercedes Benz lease
        Recognition as an author in the “Student Entrepreneur” book series

  • Creativity/Innovation

    Recognizes creativity in a business concept
    Prize: $3,000

  • Award for Social Impact
    Recognizes a student business owner who has addressed a community need through his/her business
    Prize: $3,000


To learn more about the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, please visit To learn more about Mercedes-Benz Financial, please visit