This March the SBA initiated a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs who design and develop products and services centered on improving and enhancing the lives of women and their families.

Titled “InnovateHer: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge” the program’s objective is to address the needs of women and the role they play in the nation’s economy. SBA resource partners, colleges and universities, scale-up communities, local organizations, and other groups are sponsoring local competitions nation-wide.

According to the SBA press release, the competition targets entrepreneurs and business owners “…who have created a product or service that will have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization.”

Says Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA administrator, “We are harnessing the power of America’s entrepreneurs to develop products, services and technologies that support women as they deal with the challenges of work and home. This innovation challenge will both help strengthen the economy and empower women to succeed.”

Contestants will compete for a prize of $30, 000 (from Microsoft), beginning at the local level. Those who advance to the semi-final round will be reviewed by an executive committee consisting of SBA officials, who will then narrow the field to a maximum of ten finalists.

Those who make the final round will gather in Washington, DC on May 8 of this year, l making their final presentation to a panel of experts. The winner will be announced on the closing day of the SBA’s National Small Business Week (May 4 – 8).

Details, contest rules, and the list of local competitions are available at


SBA Launches Innovate HER Business Challenge for Innovations That Empower Women’s Lives,” Small Business Administration, March 16, 2015.